The Science of SEL

The Science of SEL

A growing body of evidence shows that high quality Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) programming in school leads to improvements in students’ attitudes (motivation and commitment to school), behaviors (participation and study habits), and academic performance (grades, scores, and subject mastery). The following sources provide findings related to important aspects of SEL:

The scientific base linking social and emotional learning to school success. Zins, J.E., Bloodworth, M.R., Weissberg, R.P., and Walberg, H. (2004). New York: Teachers College Press.

The Impact of Enhancing Students’ Social and Emotional Learning, Durlak, J.A., Weissberg, R.P., Dymnicki, A.B., Taylor, R. D., Schellinger, K. B. (2011), in Child Development

Read more about The Benefits of Social and Emotional Learning

The noted neurologist turned educator, Judy Willis, talks about the science of boredom, how to get students' attention, and the most important lessons for 21st century learning. Big Thinkers: Judy Willis M.D. on Science of Learning.

Neuroscientist Richard Davidson presents research on how SEL can affect the brain in positive ways. The Neuroscience of Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning

Carol Dweck, professor at Stanford, explains how mindset relates to motivation and growth by describing her research on how we teach children to understand their brains and their capacity to learn. Carol Dweck, Mindset Interview.

The National Institute of Mental Health provides a concise booklet about brain development and maturation that helps explain some teenage behaviors. The Teen Brain - Still Under Construction, NIMH

SEL and Bullying Prevention

Social and emotional skills provide a foundation for children when they encounter challenges such as bullying. Teaching these skills in the classroom also strengthens schools’ efforts to reduce bullying and provides a framework for responding to it when it occurs.

Read about Social and Emotional Learning and Bullying Prevention, Social Emotional Learning and Bullying Prevention and see DuPage County’s Anti-Bullying Model Policy and Best Practices Manual.

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