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Social and emotional learning (SEL) has as its goals to strengthen a person's ability to understand, manage, and express the social and emotional aspects of life. The authors, all of whom have worked in training teachers in the promotion of students' social and emotional skills, have found that educators often view efforts at building such skills as standing in opposition to the academic focus of their state curriculum standards. This view hinders many well-intentioned teachers from implementing SEL in their classrooms. Thus, it is a valuable consultative tool to be able to demonstrate the overlap of SEL, academics, and curriculum standards. The authors set out a rationale for this overlap and provide examples of how they incorporate this overlap into their training and consultation.
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an approach that teaches self-regulation, self-monitoring, and social skills in school settings. SEL has been shown to be an effective method of reducing negative social interactions and increasing academic achievement. This article relates the experiences of one intermediate school principal and her staff as they used SEL strategies to change the climate and culture of their highly diverse school population. Classroom management is discussed as the vehicle used by the teachers, while the principal aligned school procedures with the philosophy of SEL. The article describes the lessons they learned and suggests directions for future research into how SEL can make effective and meaningful contributions to the field of education.