The Impact of Social-Emotional Learning in the Classroom

happy childrenWe are learning more and more about the positive impact of social-emotional learning in the classroom. In their book All Learning Is Social And Emotional: Helping Students Develop Essential Skills for the Classroom And Beyond, authors Nancy Frey, Douglas Fisher, and Dominique Smith share the results from a meta-analytic study of 213 Social-Emotional Learning programs involving 270,034 students in grades K-12. The study found statistically significant positive gains in the following six areas based upon the implementation of a social-emotional learning curriculum in the classroom (pp. 9-10):

  1. Improved Social Emotional Skills, specifically in the areas of identifying emotions, goal setting, perspective taking, interpersonal problem solving, conflict resolution, and decision making (effect size = .62)
  2. Improved Academic Performance, specifically in the areas of standardized reading or math achievement scores and classroom grades (effect size = .34)
  3. Improved Positive Social Behavior, specifically getting along with others (effect size =.26)
  4. Reduced Emotional Distress, specifically depression, anxiety, stress, or withdrawal (effect size = .25)
  5. Improved Attitudes Toward Self and Others, specifically self-perceptions, school bonding, and prosocial beliefs (effect size = .23)
  6. Reduced Conduct Problems, specifically disruptions of class, noncompliance, aggression, bullying, and suspensions (effect size = .20)

Over the next few weeks, we will explore a social-emotional learning framework that could be beneficial for classroom practice. I encourage you to thoughtfully consider how this might positively impact your classroom. You and your students will be glad you did!

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