The need for SEL is greater than ever

By Suzanne Bouffard
Categories: Social & emotional learning
August 2021
In 2018, my first editor’s column in The Learning Professional made the case for integrating social and emotional learning (SEL) into professional learning in more explicit and visible ways. Three years and multiple global crises later, the need is more urgent than ever, and the justification for ignoring it in professional learning nonexistent. Even in the best of times, SEL affects learning. As David Adams explains in this issue (see here), high-quality teaching interactions rely on social and emotional skills like reading social cues, taking others’ perspectives, and understanding how students respond to challenges. Of course, these are not the best of times. Not only have many students lacked the connections that allow for such interactions with educators, but up to 40% of K-12 students

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CRPE. (2021, August). How has the pandemic affected students’ social-emotional well-being? A review of the evidence to date. Author.

Hanno, E.C., Wiklund Hayhurst, E., Fritz, L., Gardner, M., Turco, R.G., Jones, S.M., Lesaux, N.K. (with Hofer, K., Checkoway, A., & Goodson, B.) (2021, July). Persevering through the pandemic: Key learnings about children from parents and early educators. Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative, Harvard Graduate School of Education.

The National Commission on Social, Emotional, & Academic Development. (n.d.). From a nation at risk to a nation at hope. The Aspen Institute.

Image for aesthetic effect only - Suzanne-bouffard
Senior Vice President, Communications & Publications | + posts

Suzanne Bouffard is senior vice president of communications and publications at Learning Forward. She is the editor of The Learning Professional, Learning Forward’s flagship publication. She also contributes to the Learning Forward blog and webinars. With a background in child development, she has a passion for making research and best practices accessible to educators, policymakers, and families. She has written for many national publications including The New York Times and the Atlantic, and previously worked as a writer and researcher at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Duke University and a B.A. from Wesleyan University. She loves working with authors to help them develop their ideas and voices for publication.

Categories: Social & emotional learning

The Learning Professional

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