Emotional intelligence is good for business. That’s the growing consensus across sectors in recent years. Anyone who has been on the receiving end of a physician’s detached delivery of upsetting news would be glad to know that empathy training is gaining increasing traction in medicine. CEOs in a range of other fields increasingly consult emotional intelligence coaches to develop upper managers’ so-called soft skills because they know that happy employees are more productive than unhappy ones. In schools, we call this focus on people’s well-being and interpersonal skills social and emotional learning (SEL). The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) defines SEL as the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy

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CASEL [Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning]. (2020). What is SEL?

Clifford, M., Behrstock-Sherratt, E., & Fetters, J. (2012). The ripple effect: A synthesis of research on principal influence to inform performance evaluation design. A Quality School Leadership Issue Brief. American Institutes for Research.

Day, C., Gu Q., & Sammons, P. (2016). The impact of leadership on student outcomes: How successful school leaders use transformational and instructional strategies to make a difference. Educational Administration Quarterly, 52(2), 221-258.

Durlak, J.A., Weissberg, R.P., Dymnicki, A.B., Taylor, R.D., & Schellinger, K.B. (2011). The impact of enhancing students’ social and emotional learning: A meta‐analysis of school‐based universal interventions. Child Development, 82(1), 405-432.

Dusenbury, L., Yoder, N., Godek, D., & Atwell, M. (2020). Cultivating the SEL skills employers demand. CASEL.

Hallinger, P. (2010). Developing instructional leadership. In Developing successful leadership (pp. 61-76). Springer, Dordrecht.

Hallinger, P. & Heck, R.H. (1996). Reassessing the principal’s role in school effectiveness: A review of empirical research, 1980-1995. Educational Administration Quarterly, 32(1), 5-44.

Hargreaves, A. (1998). The emotional practice of teaching. Teaching and Teacher Education, 14(8), 835-854.

Jagers, R.J., Rivas-Drake, D., & Williams, B. (2019). Transformative social and emotional learning (SEL): Toward SEL in service of educational equity and excellence. Educational Psychologist, 54(3), 162-184.

Jones, S.M., Bouffard, S.M., & Weissbourd, R. (2013). Educators’ social and emotional skills vital to learning. Phi Delta Kappan, 94(8), 62-65.

Leithwood, K., Louis, K.S., Anderson, S.E., & Wahlstrom, K.L. (2004). Review of research: How leadership influences student learning. The Wallace Foundation.

Leithwood, K., Day, C., Sammons, P., Harris, A., & Hopkins, D. (2006). Seven strong claims about successful school leadership. National College for School Leadership.

Louis, K.S., Leithwood, K., Wahlstrom, K.L., & Anderson, S.E. (2010). Investigating the links to improved student learning: Final report of research findings. The Wallace Foundation.

Schonert-Reichl, K.A. (2017). Social and emotional learning and teachers. The Future of Children, 27(1), 137-155.

Shields, C.M. (2010). Transformative leadership: Working toward equity in diverse contexts. Education Administration Quarterly, 46(4), 558-589.

Stringer, K. (2019, July 9). SEL in the house: Democrats approve millions in landmark federal funding for social-emotional learning in bill that now faces test in Senate.

Taylor, R.D., Oberle, E., Durlak, J.A., & Weissberg, R.P. (2017). Promoting positive youth development through school‐based social and emotional learning interventions: A meta‐analysis of follow‐up effects. Child Development, 88(4), 1156-1171.

Weissberg, R.P., Durlak, J.A., Domitrovich, C.E., & Gullotta, T.P. (2015). Social and emotional learning: Past, present, and future. In J.A. Durlak, C.E. Domitrovitch, R.P. Weissberg, & T.P. Gullotta (Eds.), Handbook of social and emotional learning (pp. 3-19). Guilford Press.

Zimmerman, M. A. (2000). Empowerment theory. In Handbook of community psychology (pp. 43-63). Springer.

Image for aesthetic effect only - Melanie-stefanovic-e1611075115151

Melanie Stefanovic ( is research and professional development coordinator at Florida Atlantic University.

Image for aesthetic effect only - Daniel-reyes-guerra-e1613593504589

Daniel Reyes-Guerra ( is associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Research Methodology, program coordinator in the School Leaders Program, and project director and primary investigator of the Principal Preparation Initiative at Florida Atlantic University.

Dana Zorovich-Godek ( is policy and research manager at the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and an adjunct faculty member in the School Leaders Program at Florida Atlantic University.

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