Instructional Practices That Integrate Equity-Centered Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning

Nicholas Yoder, Harmony SEL at National University
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Angela M. Ward, Center to Improve Social and Emotional Learning and School Safety
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Students in classroom with iPad

Research confirms that educators not only have a significant impact on student academic learning, but they also influence student social and emotional development. When students engage in social and emotional learning (SEL), they develop the social and emotional competencies (i.e., skills, attitudes, and knowledge) needed to be ready for and successful in college, careers, and life.

This brief, developed in collaboration with Harmony SEL at National University and the Center to Improve Social Emotional Learning and School Safety at WestEd, refines pioneering work on the integration of SEL with academics and specifically addresses 10 educator practices that promote social, emotional, and academic development.

The authors have updated the 10 practices to be more inclusive of the multiple spaces in which students learn and develop and to reflect recent learnings on culturally responsive practices, trauma-informed instruction, and the science of learning and development. To help clarify what integration means, the authors provide a taxonomy of SEL-academic integration that includes four categories: explicit skill alignment, explicit strategy alignment, ways of interacting, and ways of being.