How do we know SEL is working?
The main premise of SEL approaches involves the idea that fostering students’ social and behavioral competencies will help them learn how to follow school rules (Gregory & Fergus, 2017). By teaching these competencies, students will show an increase in knowledge of SEL skills and a decrease in conduct problems such as bullying, harassment, truancy, and physical aggression. SEL strategies can, therefore, be used both before problem behaviors arise or after a behavioral need has been identified, thus leading to a more positive school culture and environment. But, how should schools be measuring the impact of its SEL programming?
Does it really work?
Research indicates that a number of SEL interventions have the capability to effectively prevent and respond to behavioral concerns that frequently occur in the school setting. Increased positive social behavior, social and emotional knowledge, and school climate, along with reduced aggression, emotional distress, and school and classroom behavior concerns are some of the many outcomes of SEL implementation (Barnett et al., 2008; CASEL, 2016; Hall & Bacon, 2005; Hennessy, 2007; Lynch, Geller, & Schmidt, 2004; Pickens, 2009). SEL also contributes to increased academic achievement, with research indicating that students who participate in evidence-based SEL programs show on average an 11% point gain in academic achievement (CASEL, 2016).
Research indicates that a number of SEL interventions have the capability to effectively prevent and respond to behavioral concerns that frequently occur in the school setting. (Tweet this)
How can my school get started tracking the effectiveness of SEL?
Before adopting SEL strategies in your school or classroom, it is essential to have a universal method of tracking student behavior and discipline data. There are several management systems that can do this, however, an emerging platform that you need to be on the lookout for is Satchel Pulse, which is a platform that gathers equity, culture, climate, and student data and delivers powerful insights to help drive effective school improvement plans.
Satchel Pulse provides efficient teacher screening and student self-assessment tools that gather regular data relating to SEL skills. Intervention management and SEL lesson content make Satchel Pulse a comprehensive solution for improving the SEL skills of every student. Satchel Pulse takes culture and climate feedback from staff, students, and parents through regular, short, and easy to complete surveys. Fully automated, Satchel Pulse gathers and analyzes responses and provides the results in clear, real-time dashboards. More specifically, Satchel Pulse provides efficient SEL screening and assessment combined with automated diagnostic tests and powerful reports.
Before adopting SEL strategies in your school or classroom, it is essential to have a universal method of tracking student behavior and discipline data. (Tweet this)
It is up to your school to find a system that meets the needs of your school. Frequent analysis of such data is essential because it allows for a structured SEL strategy to be systematically implemented based on the needs of your school. Further, continued analysis of SEL data allows staff to monitor the impact of SEL interventions within your school/district both short and long term.
Gregory, A., & Fergus, E. (2017). Social and emotional learning and equity in school discipline. The Future of Our Children, 27, 117–136.
Barnett, W. S., Jung, K., Yarosz, D. J., Thomas, J., Hornbeck, A., Stechuk, R., & Burns, S. (2008). Educational effects of the Tools of the Mind curriculum: A randomized trial. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 23, 299-313.
Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning. (2013). Implementing systemic district and school social and emotional learning. Chicago, IL: Author.
Hall, B. W., & Bacon, T. P. (2005). Building a foundation against violence: Impact of a school-based prevention program on elementary students. Journal of School Violence, 4(4), 63-83.
Hennessey, B. A. (2007). Promoting social competence in school-aged children: The effects of the open circle program. Journal of School Psychology, 45, 349-360.
Lynch, K. B., Geller, S. R., & Schmidt, M. G. (2004). Multi-Year Evaluation of the Effectiveness of a Resilience-Based Prevention Program for Young Children. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 24(3), 335–353.
Pickens, J. (2009). Socio-emotional programme promotes positive behaviour in preschoolers. Child Care in Practice, 15(4), 261-278.