Introduction to Systemic Social and Emotional Learning
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is most effective when it is implemented across systems and aligned with other programs and practices. In a systemic approach, SEL is by all, for all, extending beyond the classroom to include active participation of diverse stakeholders throughout the school, district, and community. The explicit teaching of SEL competencies, and the continual, embedded modeling and rehearsal of these skills, across environments, allows individuals the opportunity to apply what they have learned and grow. It is ultimately the alignment and coherence of work toward shared outcomes that success is achieved.
The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) shares these lessons when it comes to advancing systemic SEL:
- Acknowledge and plan for “initiative fatigue.”
- Establish a common understanding of SEL as part of a quality education for all students.
- Clarify the connection between academics and SEL efforts.
- Pay close attention to adult SEL and relationship-building.
- Create a coherent, phased plan for rolling out SEL implementation to all schools.
You can learn more about systemic SEL in CASEL’s Making the Shift to a Systemic Approach to SEL. Also note that systemic SEL can be best achieved through the Theory of Action. Finally, check out Integrating Social and Emotional Learning Within a Multi-Tiered System of Supports To Advance Equity: SEL MTSS Toolkit For State and District Leaders.