Check out this article from Phi Delta Kappan on the impact of Social Emotional Learning on student academic outcomes:
The first meta-analysis (which has received considerable attention from educators, policy makers, and the popular media) synthesized the findings from studies of 213 school-based, universal SEL programs, including outcomes data for more than 270,000 students from kindergarten through high school (Durlak et al., 2011). Two major findings stood out:
- Compared to control students, students participating in SEL programs showed significantly more positive outcomes with respect to enhanced SEL skills, attitudes, positive social behavior, and academic performance, and significantly lower levels of conduct problems and emotional distress.
- The higher academic performance of SEL program participants translated into an 11 percentile-point gain in achievement, suggesting that SEL programs tend to bolster, rather than detract from, students’ academic success.
This review also indicated that SEL programs managed by teachers and other school staff consistently yielded positive results, and it highlighted the role of careful program implementation in ensuring positive student outcomes. It also identified several priorities for further research, including studies of longer-term effects of participating in SEL programs and research into the effectiveness of programs outside the United States. Finally, because the review was limited to research findings available through the end of 2007, the authors also called for follow-up analyses of newer data.
This study points to what parents and educators already know, academics and character education improve outcomes and help set our kids up for the future.
….and the findings were impressive.
All four of the meta-analyses addressed the following domains:
- SEL skills, such as identifying emotions, goal setting, self-management, problem solving, conflict resolution, refusal skills, and decision making.
- Attitudes about self, school, and social topics including self-perceptions (e.g., self-esteem, self-concept, self-
efficacy), school bonding, drug use and violence, and helping others.
- Positive social behaviors, such as getting along with others, helping others, showing concern for others, empathy, prosocial problem solving, peace building, and cooperation.
- Conduct problems, including disruptive classroom behavior, fighting, hurting others, verbal aggression, bullying, discipline referrals, and delinquent acts.
- Emotional distress, such as depression, anxiety, stress, and social withdrawal.
- Academic performance, including reading and math achievement, standardized test scores, school grades, and academic competence from teacher ratings.
At the same time, while all four meta-analyses touched on these six domains, and while they reached similar conclusions overall, they also differed in one respect: Two of them focused on the short-term effects of SEL programs, synthesizing data (from 255 different research reports) collected shortly after students concluded a program (Durlak et al., 2011; Wiglesworth et al., 2016), and the other two focused on longer-term effects, using data (from 129 different reports) collected at various follow-up periods — Marcin Sklad and colleagues (2012) reviewed 75 studies, covering 2008 and earlier, that assessed outcomes at least seven months after the initial SEL program had ended, and Rebecca Taylor and colleagues (2017) reviewed studies conducted through 2014, with follow-up periods that varied from 56 to 195 weeks.