This report reviews the available evidence on the economic value of social and emotional learning (SEL). The most important empirical finding is that each of the six interventions under consideration for improving SEL shows measurable benefits that exceed its costs, often by considerable amounts. The aggregate result also shows an average benefit-cost ratio of about 11 to 1 among the six interventions.
Belfield, C., Bowden, B., Klapp, A., Levin, H., Shand, R., & Zander, S. (2015). The Economic Value of Social and Emotional Learning. New York: Center for Benefit-Cost Studies in Education.
Many studies have demonstrated that “non-cognitive” competencies in children are important predictors of outcomes in their lives as adults. In several cases, the data show that non-cognitive skills matter as much as or even more than cognitive or academic skills in predicting positive life outcomes. This working paper maps findings from a number of pivotal studies conducted by leading psychologists, physicians, economists, and education researchers onto a framework organized around nine key topics within the domains of academics, career, and well-being.
Gabrieli, C., Ansel, D., & Krachman, S. B. (2015). Ready to Be Counted: The Research Case for Education Policy Action on Non-Cognitive Skills. Boston: Transforming Education.
Social Emotional Learning in High School: How Three Urban High Schools Engage, Educate, and Empower Youth (2014)
This brief summarizes three case studies, a cross-case report, a research brief, and a technical report about the experience of high schools in Boston, New York City, and San Antonio. Among the key findings: (1) schools focused on social and emotional learning (SEL) provide students with key psychological resources they need to thrive in school; (2) leveraging a whole-school approach to SEL supports students’ social, emotional, and academic needs.
Hamedani, M. G. & Darling-Hammond, L. (2014). Social Emotional Learning in High School: How Three Urban High Schools Engage, Educate, and Empower Youth. Palo Alto: Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE).
Effectiveness of School-Based Universal Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Programs: Do They Enhance Students’ Development in The Area of Skill, Behavior, and Adjustment? (2012)
To answer the question of whether teaching social and emotional skills can help schools extend their role beyond the transfer of knowledge, the authors conducted a meta-analytical review of 75 recently published studies that reported the effects of universal, school-based social, emotional, and/or behavioral (SEB) programs. The interventions had a variety of intended outcomes, but an increase in social skills and decreases in antisocial behavior were most often reported. The final sections of the article discuss limitations of the analysis and moderators of the effectiveness of SEB programs in schools.
Sklad, M., Diekstra, R., Ritter, M. D., Ben, J. & Gravesteijn, C. (2012), Effectiveness of school-based universal social, emotional, and behavioral programs: Do they enhance students’ development in the area of skill, behavior, and adjustment? Psychology in the Schools, 49(9), 892–909.
Tags: Impact and Evidence
The Impact of Enhancing Students’ Social and Emotional Learning: A Meta-Analysis of School-Based Universal Interventions (2011)
This review of 213 studies of school-based social and emotional learning (SEL) programs has become one of the most important and frequently cited documents in the SEL field.
Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D. & Schellinger, K. B. (2011), The impact of enhancing students’ social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school-based universal interventions. Child Development, 82: 405–432.
The Positive Impact of Social and Emotional Learning for Kindergarten to Eighth-Grade Students – Findings from Three Scientific Reviews (2008)
This report summarizes results from three large-scale reviews of research on the impact of social and emotional learning (SEL) programs on elementary and middle-school students. Collectively the three reviews included 317 studies and involved 324,303 children.
Payton, J. W., Weissberg, R. P., Durlak, J.A., Dymnicki, A.B., Taylor, R.D., Schellinger, K.B., & Pachan, M. (2008). The Positive Impact of Social and Emotional Learning for Kindergarten to Eighth-Grade Students: Findings from Three Scientific Reviews. Chicago: Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning.
This review of 73 programs considered after-school programs that attempted to promote personal and social skills. The personal and social skills targeted in these programs could include one or more skills in such areas as problem-solving, conflict resolution, self-control, leadership, responsible decision-making, and enhancement of self-efficacy and self-esteem.
Durlak, J. A., & Weissberg, R. P. (2007). The Impact of After-School Programs that Promote Personal and Social Skills. Chicago, IL: Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning.