Integrating Social, Emotional and Academic Development

Integrating Social, Emotional, and Academic Development (SEAD): An Action Guide for School Leadership Teams provides practical advice, curated resources, and action steps for school leaders to improve the student experience, calling out specific equity implications in every section.

Published by Education First and co-developed with practitioner-leaders from Minneapolis and Nashville public schools and experts from the Aspen Institute, the University of Chicago, Student Achievement Partners, Dana Center at UT-Austin and Education Resource Strategies, the SEAD School Action Guide is a resource that empowers and challenges principals and their teams to address the social, emotional, and academic dimensions of learning together to advance equity.

SEAD requires rethinking the school experience for students and adults so that social, emotional, and academic dimensions of learning are mutually reinforcing in practice, and infused into every aspect of the school and student experience. Enacting SEAD in practice rests on a three-legged stool: Students need (1) explicit instruction in understanding and applying social-emotional competencies/skills; (2) embedded opportunities to practice these competencies/skills during academic instruction; and (3) a learning environment that is infused with healthy relationships and that models safety, belonging, and purpose so that students can invest their whole selves in learning. Integrating SEAD has two meanings in this context: addressing social, emotional, and academic dimensions of learning together because they are inextricably linked in students’ experiences; and integrating a SEAD approach into overall school improvement strategies—not as a siloed initiative or an “add-on” program.

If you are a school leader who is eager to enact a whole-child agenda, this action guide will help you organize for planning, professional development, and continuous improvement. 

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