Giving Compass' Take:

• Recent survey findings demonstrate that educators value SEL programs and practices and believe strongly that it will benefit their students. 

• How can educators expand SEL curricula to help students who respond to this type of learning style?

• Read more about how to infuse SEL into core curriculum subjects. 

Educators across the U.S. are embarking on a new school year, developing lesson plans and figuring out their students' academic needs. They are also likely to be considering ways to support the non-academic aspects of their students' development. Teachers and principals know that to be successful in college and careers, kids need to master a range of social and emotional skills such as teamwork, communication, and the ability to manage their emotions.

Schools are increasingly adopting social and emotional learning (SEL) programs and practices to build these skills, and policymakers can benefit from understanding the educator perspective: how they feel about emphasizing SEL, what they are doing to promote SEL, and what resources they need to do that better.

Recent nationally representative survey findings from RAND's American Educator Panels shed light on educators' SEL opinions and practices, and they strongly suggest that educators value SEL and believe in its power to benefit kids. They also suggest that educators need support to do SEL well.

Consistent with the recent explosion in SEL programs and expert guidance, our survey results confirm that SEL is widespread in schools. Nearly three-quarters of U.S. principals in both elementary and secondary schools report that promoting their students' SEL skills is one of their top priorities, and nearly all teachers and principals indicate that it is important for schools to help students develop and apply a wide range of these skills.

Moreover, most educators believe SEL can support the other goals that schools are expected to pursue. Nearly all principals and teachers agreed that supporting students' social and emotional development could improve student achievement, engagement, and behavior, as well as school-wide climate.

Read the full article about how schools are back in session and back to SEL by Laura Hamilton at RAND.