The field of social and emotional learning (SEL) is rapidly expanding, as educators bring a sharper focus to helping children build skills beyond academic knowledge. School climate initiatives, anti-bullying work, positive behavior supports, and other SEL efforts are now steering programs in schools and out-of-school-time (OST) settings across the country.
This in-depth guide to 25 evidence-based programs—aimed at elementary schools and OST providers—offers information about curricular content and programmatic features that practitioners can use to make informed choices about their SEL programs. The first of its kind, the guide allows practitioners to compare curricula and methods across top SEL programs. It also explains how programs can be adapted from schools to out-of-school-time settings, such as afterschool and summer programs.
Building upon existing tools in the field, the guide offers a practical, consumer-oriented resource that provides profiles of each program, including the specific skills targeted and instructional methods used. Some programs, for example, are designed to help students regulate their behavior, while others are aimed at developing certain mindsets or character traits.
Other key features of the guide include:
- Background information on SEL and its benefits
- A summary of the evidence base for each of the 25 programs
- Recommendations for adapting the programs for OST settings
- Summary tables that allow consumers to look across the features of the programs and compare them
- Tools for practitioners, including a Quick Reference Guide and worksheets to help stakeholders make decisions based on the program profiles
The guide was written by Stephanie Jones, an associate professor in human development and urban education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a team of Harvard researchers. Jones is a recognized expert and frequent speaker on social and emotional learning.