What is Social-Emotional Learning?

According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), "Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions."

The CASEL model is widely accepted and is identified by five competencies. The CASEL Guide (PDF) provides an excellent overview.

  • Self-awareness

  • Self-management

  • Social awareness

  • Relationship skills

  • Responsible decision-making

SEL Overview

  • Emotion and learning are deeply, critically intertwined and the relationship between them affects academic performance.

  • The relationship between emotion and learning is rarely part of the planning process when developing courses, nor is it made explicit within the activities themselves and throughout learning environments broadly speaking.


What is Engagement?

"Engagement is a complex construct consisting of behavioral, cognitive, and emotional components "(Christensen, Reschly, & Wylie, 2012; Fredricks, Blumenfeld & Paris, 2004; Skinner & Belmont, 1993).

Most research identifies academic engagement as on-task and on-schedule behavior:

  • Attending to learning tasks

  • Staying on task for a predetermined period of time

  • Self-monitoring on-task behaviors

  • Taking turns without prompts

  • Following directions

  • Physical approach: calm body, eye contact, hands down

(Agran et al., 2005; Bryan & Gast, 2000; Carnahan, Musti-Rao, & Bailey, 2009; Hollingshead, Carnahan, Lowrey, & Snyder, 2017; Holifield, Goodman, Hazelkom, & Heflin, 2010; Pelios, MacDuff, & Axelrod, 2003)