Educators have long known that social and emotional learning (SEL) matters for students in school and life. But how does SEL relate to attendance, behavior, and course performance (the “ABCs”)? Do students with higher SEL tend to have better grades, test scores, and attendance?
There’s no question that social emotional learning (SEL) is essential to students’ success in school and life.
Extensive research has shown that students who participate in SEL programs demonstrate 11% gains in academics, improved classroom behavior, better stress management, and higher attendance. As the body of research on social-emotional learning grows, district and school leaders are focusing on infusing SEL into the classroom through different programs and activities.
An analysis of a nationwide measure of 23,000 students’ perceptions of growth mindset shows meaningful differences in what students believe they can change and a gender gap.
Last school year, David Andrews, a social studies teacher at Piedmont Hills High School (Calif.), noticed something in his students that puzzled him.
As a teacher of six years, Andrews had read the research by Stanford Professor Carol Dweck and others that showed the impact of having a growth mindset on students’ learning and academic achievement. Andrews promoted this belief that people can work deliberately to change their most basic abilities — namely their intelligence.
“Students are so varied when it comes to their mindsets,” Andrews said. “I’m still working to crack the enigma of how to support all my students’ beliefs about themselves.” He would overhear students saying they were good at social studies, but would never be good at math. Other students would say they could always work harder to do better in class, while some felt they just weren’t that talented.