Large peer-reviewed study shows that SEL is a win-win approach

Jeanne Osgood Communications Outreach Coordinator at CASEL

Educators, parents, and policymakers have a new reference to back up our inclinations about the benefits of SEL. This month, Child Development's special issue on child well-being included the publication of The Impact of Enhancing Students' SEL: A Meta-Analysis of School-Based Universal Interventions (Durlak, Weissberg, Dymnicki, Taylor, and Schellinger). You can read the full research at

This synthesis of more than 200 studies involving nearly 300,000 students found that students who participated in school-based SEL programs not only improved in academic measures (by an average of 11 percentile points) but they also showed significant improvement in social and emotional skills, caring attitudes, and positive social behaviors, and a decline in disruptive behavior and emotional distress.

This shows us that investing in the development of students' social and emotional skills does not detract from the teaching of academics. Another significant finding is that SEL programming is most effectively taught by classroom teachers.

The article is an essential tool for all of us in the field of SEL as we support the healthy development of children and incorporate SEL into the standard school day. Please share this information!

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Director of Programming and Innovation @Edutopia

Research for SEL

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Great to see this research surfacing. Dr Durlak posted a blog that outlines the research findings here.

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