Research

  • Studies show social and emotional competencies can increase cognitive skills, measured by academic achievement tests, by up to 11 percent. In fact, student mindsets are twice as predictive of a student’s academic achievement than their home environment or demographic, according to a McKinsey/Microsoft analysis.

  • Research has found that high-level social-emotional skills developed during childhood are correlated with a number of beneficial long-term health and well-being outcomes as adults, including lower rates of obesity, substance abuse, and criminal activity, and greater satisfaction in relationships and positive contributions to society. McKinsey/Microsoft analysis.

  • Several studies explore the long-term benefits of social and emotional learning programs. In one, researchers examined how SEL intervention programs for kindergarten students impacted their adult lives, and found that these programs led to 10% (59% vs. 69% for the control group) fewer psychological, behavioral, or substance abuse problems at the age of 25 (Dodge et al., 2014). 

  • A 2018 survey of elementary school principals, conducted by the National Association of Elementary School Principals, revealed that student mental health tops the list of their concerns, a dramatic change from ten years earlier. Student mental health and behavior challenges negatively impact the ability of teachers to control their classrooms and maintain a focus on the learning objectives at hand. When a teacher spends their time controlling the behavior of a few students, the rest of the students learn less.

  • For every $1 a school spends on social-emotional learning programs, it sees an $11 return on its investment, indicating the investment in SEL is worthwhile (Center for Benefit-Cost Studies in Education Teachers College, Columbia University).

  • Teachers reported that SEL instruction created a significant decrease in behaviors that disrupted classroom learning while their relationships with students improved (Early Childhood Education Journal).

  • Early social-emotional skills are an important component of school readiness and healthy child development (Stipek, D. (2006).

  • Preschool SE skills include being able to get along and cooperate with others, manage strong feelings, focus attention, and persist at challenging tasks. These skills deserve focused attention during the preschool years because they are critical for long-term school and life success (Jones, D.E., Greenberg, M., & Crowley, M. (2015) and 4 Denham, S.A., & Burton, R. (2003).

  • As of 2016, 49 of the 50 U.S. states had created SEL standards for the preschool years, reflecting a remarkable level of national consensus in support of teaching SEL in preschools (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning 2016).

  • A lack of SEL regularly correlated with unfavorable outcomes such as an increased chance of unemployment, divorce, poor health, criminal behavior and imprisonment (The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

  • A 20-year study shows a link between children’s social skills in kindergarten and their well-being in early adulthood, according to the findings published today in the American Journal of Public Health.

  • Advances in neuroscience imply developing SEL skills in kindergarten “can have long-term academic benefits on students’ reading and vocabulary, including in high poverty schools, suggesting that SEL may assist in closing achievement gaps (The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)..

  • Children who were more likely to “share” or “be helpful” in kindergarten were also more likely to obtain higher education and hold full-time jobs nearly two decades later, the study found. Students who lacked these “social competence” skills were more likely to face more negative outcomes by the age of 25, including substance abuse problems, challenges finding employment or run-ins with the law. (http://rwjf.ws/1RDMSOh)

  • Research shows that the greatest returns on education investments are “from nurturing children's non-cognitive skills, giving them social, emotional and behavioral benefits that lead to success later in life…” (Heckman & Masterov, 2004).

  • Students’ sense of self-efficacy impacts their personal choice of goals, activities, and their effort persistence in class activities (Ormrod, 2014). In a systematic review that focused on the relationship between self-efficacy and learning outcomes, the data analyses from the findings indicated that self-efficacy was positively related to the learner’s academic performance (Bartimote-Aufflick et al., 2016). Therefore, developing a positive self-efficacy can improve the academic performance of a student and promote choices in which learners feel more competent, and in the end, result in positive educational outcomes.​

  • Findings revealed with increased levels of negative self-talk, grade point average decreased and the student missed more school days.  This leads to a reduction in self appraisal and builds stress, which reduces performance on a variety of tasks, including those which are included in the school curriculum.  (Van Sistine, Andrew J. The Effects of Negative Self-Talk on the Academic Performance of School-Age Children)

  • “We found that students’ mindsets—how they perceive their abilities—played a key role in their motivation and achievement, and we found that if we changed students’ mindsets, we could boost their achievement.” (Carol Dweck)

  • A one time act of thoughtful gratitude produced an immediate 10% increase in happiness and 35% reduction in depressive symptoms.  (Positive psychology progress: empirical validation of interventions. Seligman ME1, Steen TA, Park N, Peterson C. (2005)

  • Student engagement decreases significantly over the course of a child’s education. 76% of elementary school students are engaged but only 44% of high school students are. (PDK’s 2014 Gallup Poll)

  • Almost every employer, in every occupation, prefers workers who know how to problem-solve, be creative, work collaboratively, and communicate well.   (Steven Paine, Ed.D. president of the educational advocacy group Partnership for 21st Century Skills)

  • Some of the benefits of SEL per Durlak, Weissberg et al.'s recent meta-analysis are:Better academic performance: achievement scores an average of 11 percentile points higher than students who did not receive SEL instruction;Improved attitudes and behaviors: greater motivation to learn, deeper commitment to school, increased time devoted to schoolwork, and better classroom behavior;Fewer negative behaviors: decreased disruptive class behavior, noncompliance, aggression, delinquent acts, and disciplinary referrals; andReduced emotional distress: fewer reports of student depression, anxiety, stress, and social withdrawal.

  • Practicing life skills leads to qualities such as self-esteem, sociability and tolerance, to action competencies to take action and generate change, and to capabilities to have the freedom to decide what to do and who to be. (World Health Organization)

  • Life Skills have been defined as “abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life”.  They represent the psycho-social skills that determine valued behavior and include reflective skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking, to personal skills such as self-awareness, and to interpersonal skills. (World Health Organization)

  • Research shows that many of these skills, such as self-regulation and cooperation, are, in fact, closely linked to academic achievement." (Skills for Success: Supporting and Assessing Key Habits, Mindsets, and Skills in Pre-K-12)

  • There is significant impact of positive psychology to enhance human capacity, ultimately leading to a greater quality of life.  Integrating simple, positive psychology strategies into our youth development programs will help our audiences gain new and fresh insight about themselves and provide them with a new set of life-skills that will empower them. (Journal of Extension and American Psychological Association, Dr. Martin Seligman)

  • 2.6 million adolescents aged 12 to 16 suffered a major depressive episode in 2013.   That represents 10.7% of all teens in that age range, and it’s a number that’s growing every year. (National Institute of Mental Health)

  • Two-thirds of teenagers with major depression also suffer from another mental disorder, such as dysthymia, substance addiction, anxiety, or antisocial behaviors. And 30% of those suffer from drug addiction. They maintain smaller social circles, are less motivated, more apt to be sick, and are more likely to struggle in school and participate in risky sexual behaviors. (National Institute of Mental Health)

  • One out of every four students (22%) report being bullied during the school year. (National Center for Educational Statistics)

  • Students who experience bullying are at increased risk for poor school adjustment, sleep difficulties, anxiety, and depression. (Center for Disease Control)

  • Students who engage in bullying behavior are at increased risk for academic problems, substance use, and violent behavior later in adolescence and adulthood. (Center for Disease Control)

  • Role plays not only increase student engagement, it also increases knowledge retention. (Westrup & Planander, 2013).

  • Using role-play as a training tool helps students change behaviors and use best practices in real-world settings (Beard, et. al., 1995).

  • When students take the skills they have learned in theory and put them in practice, this creates a deeper cognitive link to the material, making it easier for students to learn (McEwen, et. al., 2014; Johnson & Johnson, 1997).

  • “To get students to apply their knowledge to a given problem, to reflect on issues and the views of others, to illustrate the relevance of theoretical ideas by placing them in a real-world context, and to illustrate the complexity of decision-making.” (Pavey and Donoghue (2003, p. 7) summarize the benefits of using role-play pedagogy.”

  • Farrington, C.A., Roderick, M., Allensworth, E., Nagaoka, J., Keyes, T.S., Johnson, D.W., & Beechum, N.O. (2012).

  • Teaching adolescents to become learners. The role of noncognitive factors in shaping school performance: A critical literature review. Chicago: University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research

  • Carol Dweck, Stanford University psychologist and author of Mindset

  • Stephanie Faye Frank

  • Durlak, Weissberg et al.'s recent meta-analysis on SEL

  • Rattan et al

  • Blackwell, Trzesniewski, & Dweck, 2007

  • https://www.mindsetworks.com/Science/Teacher-Practices

  • https://developingchild.harvard.edu/resources/five-numbers-to-remember-about-early-childhood-development/#cps

  • https://developingchild.harvard.edu/science/deep-dives/lifelong-health/

  • https://developingchild.harvard.edu/science/key-concepts/brain-architecture/

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtKJrB5rOKs

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSzsI5aGcK4

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELpfYCZa87g&t=32s

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNHBMFCzznE (Dr. Lara Boyd)

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTXrV0_3UjY

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​© 2019 by Character U LLC and Gretchen Burman