Why is Social and Emotional Learning So Important in PreK-12 Education?

Published Tue Sep 26 00:00:00 EDT 2017


Nurturing students’ emotional development offers significant benefits in and outside the classroom.

Students using a map

With so much focus on ensuring students learn subject-area skills such as math and science, are students’ social and emotional needs also being met in today’s elementary and secondary classrooms?

A growing body of research identifies successful social and emotional learning (SEL) as a key element for advancing student achievement in school and beyond. This emerging learning practice is being integrated in classrooms and schools, as well as in the home to help students learn how to manage emotions, set positive goals, feel empathy toward others and engage in positive relationships.

Our School team's Inspired Ideas blog features guest posts and insights from preK-12 educators about teaching social and emotional learning skills in today's classrooms. Learn more about the positive effects of SEL by taking the short quiz below.

All school districts strive to create a learning environment where all students can reach their full potential. Increasingly, achieving this takes more than subject area instruction alone. The recently updated Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) also includes specific guidelines designed to give school districts the tools to support student development by gaining competencies through social and emotional learning (SEL).

Teaching SEL skills can help increase students’ self-awareness and impulse control, boost attendance rates and help them make constructive and responsible decisions in and outside of the classroom. When combined with effective academic instruction, SEL can help all students have a positive and well-rounded educational experience.

Explore these other resources to learn more about the research, practices, and benefits of social emotional learning in preK-12 education today:

To help all schools create a culture of empathy and kindness, McGraw-Hill Education is proud to team up with Kids for Peace in support of the Great Kindness Challenge. Join the thousands of schools and more than 10 million students taking part in the next Challenge from January 22-26, 2018!