Skip to main content
Young teen boy looking pensively out the window

Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

Addressing the social and emotional needs of tweens and teens, particularly those who have experienced traumatic events, within an educational setting can help students navigate the wider world with greater empathy and understanding. 

Social Emotional Learning is the process by which children grow and develop their emotional lives and their relationships.  — Tim Shriver, Founder, CASEL

Research has shown the positive impact SEL-focused instruction can make on students’ academic lives, including higher attendance and graduation rates as well as fewer school suspensions. But how do we define Social Emotional Learning (SEL)?

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is multi-faceted and therefore can feel overwhelming but our friends at the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) have created a comprehensive SEL framework that highlights five important areas of SEL including Social Awareness, Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Responsible Decision-Making, and Relationship Skills.


Ebony Holliday, PhD on the Importance of Social Emotional Learning for Autistic — and All Students

Learning social emotional competencies is very important for autistic — and all — students to be successful in and beyond the classroom, explains Ebony Holliday, PhD, from the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Center for Autism Services, Science and Innovation (CASSI). However, for autistic students, sometimes those instructions need to be individualized and adapted so they can get the most benefit, too. 

Assessing Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

Research has shown the positive impact SEL-focused instruction can make on students’ academic lives but how do we gauge students’ social emotional development?

American Institutes for Research

SEL Assessment Toolkit

Minnesota Department of Education

SEL Assessment Guidance

Related Resources

Two smiling adolescent boys

Blog: Decoding KidLit

Boys Just Want to Have… A Full Range of Emotions

It’s important we’re putting books in front of our readers that show protagonists (and side characters) experiencing the full gambit of emotions and challenges; not one dimensional character representations.

Colorful illustration of bird's eye view of adolescent girl reading with cat

Themed Booklists

Our themed booklists will help you find books that appeal to all kinds of readers, including kids who are reluctant to read for fun.