How to talk about SEL with families

Get beyond the term itself, write Carl Hooker, Matt Joseph, Suzy Brooks and Leo Brehm of K12Leaders in an article on SmartBrief.

The term SEL is divisive yet there’s broad parental support for schools teaching the life skills that SEL has come to encapsulate.

So there’s now a need to “focus on skills, not terminology,” write Carl Hooker, Matt Joseph, Suzy Brooks and Leo Brehm of the editorial board of K12Leaders in a new article in SmartBrief on Education.

The authors also suggest highlighting the documented connection between SEL skills and student success. “Research identifies clear academic benefits to SEL: An analysis of more than 200 studies involving 270,000 students found that instruction increased students’ academic performance by 11 percentile points, on average. Another study found a 9% drop in behavioral problems when students learn social and emotional competencies.”

They also encourage educators to note the research behind the specific programs they’re using and explain how these programs were developed with sound science in mind.

For instance, the Edsby social learning platform for K-12 allows students to share how they’re feeling with their teachers and gives educators research-based strategies to help meet students’ SEL needs. The system was designed with input from a team of SEL experts and is affiliated with MindUP, an evidence-based nonprofit designed to improve children’s emotional well-being.

Read the full article here.