By Katrina Schwartz
More schools are working to change school culture through programs aimed at improving the social and emotional skills of students. The lessons directly teach young people how to interact with one another in positive ways, deal with anger, and solve problems, and new studies show they improve academic performance, too. As more schools try this approach, researchers have begun paying closer attention to the effects of social and emotional learning on behavior and academic achievement.
That research is showing that social and emotional learning (SEL) is crucial to mitigating the social problems that inherently exist in schools and detract from learning. These programs are much more than an anti-bullying strategy – they teach life skills.