“I don’t think we have to get much buy-in anymore for social-emotional learning in schools,” says Molly Gosline, Ed.M., M.A, executive director of SEL School Consulting and founder of the SEL Summer Institute. “The pandemic and loss of school and social time for students has highlighted the need for social skill development and learning basics of how to do school in a better, more inclusive manner.”
Educators agree. According to a recent survey from EdWeek Research Center, 83% believe SEL “helps students master academic skills.”
The research agrees too. Studies show SEL intervention increases academic performance and improves classroom behavior and student ability to manage stress and depression.
As the dust settles from pandemic learning and social-emotional loss, many schools are eager to embrace SEL to help manage that loss and support mental health.
The rise of SEL in education has sparked some pushback, “but they’re small pockets,” Gosline says, “Sometimes they just have a louder voice depending on the context.”
But when Gosline states that “students need social skill development and access to their emotional intelligence to engage in learning, there’s no pushback. Because everyone agrees.”
Because SEL integration in schools is a fairly new concept, it can be tough to know where to start and what to do, especially if you’re an educator eager to take action.
Gosline frequently works with schools to “build SEL cultures to positively impact student growth.”
She is the former Coordinator of Social Emotional Learning at Adlai E. Stevenson School District in Illinois and as a decades long leader in SEL nation-wide, founded SEL School Consulting and the SEL Summer Institute to support SEL professional development for all educators.
Molly is also working on her doctorate with the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, focusing her research on SEL integration in curriculum, instruction, and assessment and holds master’s degrees in school counseling as well as in adolescent development research from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
With a wealth of experience and education, Molly developed the TIP Model which asks us to be Thoughtful, Intentional, and Purposeful in all SEL integration strategies. Here are her recommendations for bringing effective social emotional learning to students: