CASEL Announces Updated Definition of Social and Emotional Learning

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has released an updated definition for the term “social and emotional learning” (SEL) to highlight the potential and urgency of leveraging SEL to promote educational equity and excellence. CASEL first introduced the term “social and emotional learning” 26 years ago, and since then has been a leader in making evidence-based SEL an integral part of education from preschool through high school. These latest updates to the SEL definition and framework (including the well-known “CASEL Wheel”) reflect a commitment to continuous improvement to ensure SEL contributes to safe, healthy, and just communities for all. 

New Definition:

“Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an integral part of education and human development. SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.

SEL advances educational equity and excellence through authentic school-family-community partnerships to establish learning environments and experiences that feature trusting and collaborative relationships, rigorous and meaningful curriculum and instruction, and ongoing evaluation. SEL can help address various forms of inequity and empower young people and adults to co-create thriving schools and contribute to safe, healthy, and just communities.”

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