SEL Resources and Research

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U.S. Department of Education
Parent and Educator Guide to School Climate Resources

“Tragic events in recent years underscore the need for school to be a safe and positive learning environment for every student. In the absence of a safe and positive learning environment, a student may feel disconnected, disregard consequences, and engage in bullying or other destructive behaviors. These conditions can foreshadow acts of violence or criminality. However, through dedicated attention and strategic effort, school can remain a positive, supportive place in which every student feels safe, welcome, and connected.

In order to help those closest to students—parents, classroom teachers, school leaders, and others—to create and maintain a safe and positive learning environment for all, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) offers the attached Parent and Educator Guide to School Climate Resources (Guide).”

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Safe and Sound Schools
Empowering a Nation of Safer School Communities 

“It is our mission to help all stakeholders work together for a safer community. We provide a wide range of free tools, programs, and resources, as well as tailored consulting, speaking, and services for school crisis prevention, response, and recovery.”

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Lisa Flook, Simon B. Goldberg, Laura Pinger, and Richard J. Davidson
Promoting Prosocial Behavior and Self-Regulatory Skills in Preschool
Children Through a Mindfulness-Based Kindness Curriculum

“This study demonstrates the promise of incorporating mindfulness-based training into an early education curriculum. Overall, these results suggest that a relatively brief mindfulness-based training can enhance a range of academic and prosocial outcomes in young children.

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Lisa Heffernan, Jennifer Wallace
To get into college, Harvard report advocates for kindness instead of overachieving

“’Yes, we want students who have achieved in and out of the classroom, but we are also looking for things that are harder to quantify, [like] authentic intellectual engagement and a concern for others and the common good,’ explains Jeremiah Quinlan, dean of undergraduate admissions at Yale University, one of the report’s endorsers.

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Shiri Lavy
A Review of Character Strengths Interventions in Twenty-First-Century Schools: their Importance and How they can be Fostered

The key findings of these studies that passed the screening indicated that character strengths interventions increased engagement, hope (Madden et al. 2011), life satisfaction (Proctor et al. 2011), positive affect, classroom engagement, class cohesion, relatedness and autonomy need satisfaction, strengths use (Quinlan et al. 2015), well-being and social skills, and academic performance, and improved problem behavior (Rashid et al. 2013).

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Dr. Stuart Brown, Founder
The National Institute for Play

ABC News on Dr. Stuart Brown’s book: Play

“A close look at the biology and neuroscience of play reveals it to be a fundamental survival aspect of all social mammals, with measurable negative consequences in controlled laboratory settings that limit or deter animal play behavior. The linkages from the objective findings in animal play deprivation to the clinical findings in humans is, as yet unproven. However, the subcortical physiology and anatomy is similar, and the inability of play deprived animals to deter aggression, or to socialize comfortably with fellow pack members is demonstrable. The remediation of these socialization deficits in the animals by inclusion of play in developmentally appropriate forms reveals the effectiveness of play as a means of achieving more social normalcy and non-violent alternatives in the playful social mammal domains.”

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Yvonne I. Larrier, Tinisha Lewis
Social-Emotional Learning and At-Risk Children and Youth

“Behaviors associated with the at-risk classification are aggression at home, school and in the community, underperformance and underachievement at school, and truancy. Acquiring social emotional competencies (SECs) is an effective way of diminishing and eventually eliminating these behaviors. Acquiring these SECs from as early as kindergarten acts as a protective factor against maladaptive and risky behaviors later on in life. “

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Casel and Committee for Children 
Congressional Briefing on SEL and Employability Skills

“School-based social and emotional learning (SEL) curricula provide a key to workforce development by explicitly teaching the social and emotional skills employers are seeking and the U.S. economy needs. Research shows SEL works to improve behavioral, academic, and career success…Given the evidence linking children’s proficiency in social and emotional skills to their long-term outcomes in education, employment, and crime—and given the expenses involved in handling crime, unemployment, and other social problems—there is potential for quality SEL programs to provide economic benefits.”

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The Future of Education Depends On Social Emotional Learning

“A recent study from The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) looked at five primary social and emotional skills—open-mindedness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, extraversion, and agreeableness—to determine which are the strongest indicators of success. The study revealed a lack of SEL regularly correlated with unfavorable outcomes such as an increased chance of unemployment, divorce, poor health, criminal behavior, and imprisonment.”

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Ready Nation
Social-Emotional Skills in Early Childhood Support Workforce Success

For every one-point increase in children’s character skills scores in kindergarten, they were:

54% more likely to earn a high school diploma / Twice as likely to attain a college degree / 46% more likely to have a full-time job at age 25”

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Greater Good
How Social-Emotional Learning Transforms Classrooms

“When educators begin using SEL in the classroom, sometimes the most surprising outcome is how they personally change. Unless a teacher is an automaton, teaching students emotional and relationship skills compels a teacher to reflect on his or her own social-emotional competencies—sometimes both in and out of the classroom.”

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American Journal of Public Health
Early Social-Emotional Functioning and Public Health: The Relationship Between Kindergarten Social Competence and Future Wellness

A 2015 national study published in the American Journal of Public Health “found statistically significant associations between measured social-emotional skills in kindergarten and key young adult outcomes across multiple domains of education, employment, criminal activity, substance use, and mental health.”

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The Missing Piece: A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools

“A 2016 national teacher survey reports more than three quarters of the teachers believe a larger focus on SEL will be a major benefit to students because of the positive effect on workforce readiness (87 percent), school attendance and graduation (80 percent), life success (87 percent), college preparation (78 percent), and academic success (75 percent).”

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