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<p>Following a surge of research showing the importance of social and emotional competence for children's academic and social success (e.g., Durlak, Weissberg, Dymnicki, Taylor &amp; Schellinger, 2011; Sklad, Diekstra, Ritter, Ben &amp; Gravesteijn, 2012), education policymakers across the country have made efforts to incorporate social and emotional learning (SEL) into state standards of learning. Today virtually all states have comprehensive, free-standing SEL standards at the preschool level, and at the K-12 level most states have made at least some efforts to integrate social and emotional competencies in other sets of academic standards, such as Health, Social Studies, or English Language Arts (Dusenbury et al., in press). However, only a few states have comprehensive, free-standing SEL standards at the K-12 level. Further, SEL standards vary substantially from state to state both in terms of quality and inclusiveness. Most striking of all is the lack of alignment between birth to preschool standards and K-12 standards in how SEL is defined and emphasized. In this brief report, the authors review the importance of SEL for children's early and sustained success. They also discuss key characteristics of high-quality SEL standards and the benefits of preschool through high school standards alignment. Finally, they review examples of two sets of well-aligned standards and make recommendations for the development and implementation of well-aligned, high-quality state standards for SEL preschool through high school.</p>

The purpose of the CASEL State Scan is to support the development of high-quality standards for social and emotional learning (SEL), preschool through high school, across the country (Dusenbury, Zadrazil, Weiss-berg & Mart, 2011). This brief summarizes recent findings from CASEL's State Scan (Dusenbury, Newman, Weissberg, Goren, Domitrovich & Mart, in press), which reviewed the research literature on learning standards generally to identify key components of high-quality standards and assessed the status of each state in developing well-articulated learning standards for SEL, preschool through high school. This brief also provides recommendations to support development of high-quality SEL standards, including examples from states identified as part of CASEL's State Scan. We conclude with a discussion of CASEL's plans for advancing high-quality standards for SEL nationwide.

In this brief we use the CASEL reviews of evidence-based programs to answer the question, "What do teachers and other adults actually need to do in the classroom and school to help students achieve the goals laid out in social and emotional learning (SEL) standards?" Specifically, we identify and describe four approaches that have been success-fully used to promote social and emotional development in students. One approach uses free-standing lessons that provide step-by-step instructions to teach students' social and emotional competencies. The second approach uses general teaching practices to create classroom and schoolwide conditions that facilitate and support social and emotional development in students. A third approach integrates skill instruction or practices that support SEL within the context of an academic curriculum. The fourth approach provides school leaders with guidance on how to facilitate SEL as a schoolwide initiative. The identification of these four approaches and types of strategies that support each one should help school leaders and teachers develop a comprehensive plan for developing students' social and emotional competencies.