April 3, 2023
As social–emotional learning (SEL) programs become more popular and specific, educators increasingly need to identify which programs (1) meet their program goals and student needs; (2) fulfill certain requirements; (3) align with existing school-, district-, and state-wide regulations and initiatives; and (4) can be adapted and implemented with success in their unique settings. Educators who work with teens have another big issue: much of the SEL guidance to date has focused on helping younger students.
Building on more than a decade of research, a practical and comprehensive new guide from the Wallace Foundation aims to help schools and out-of-school educators choose SEL programs for adolescents. The guide, Navigating SEL from the Inside Out, details variations among a wide variety of programs available to schools and focused specifically on middle school and high school students.
The guide takes a deep look at 18 evidence-based SEL programs for adolescents, outlining their features with the goal of helping system leaders make decisions about the SEL program that will work best in their respective settings based on specific needs and opportunities.
The guide provides a detailed look at specific program goals. While some are designed to help teens regulate their behavior and build positive relationships, others aim to support the development of certain mindsets or character traits. Programs are likely to have the most impact when they are closely aligned with school and community needs and goals. Worksheets accompany the guide to help educators zero in on those goals.