Data: How District Leaders, Principals, and Teachers View Social-Emotional Learning

Most district leaders, principals, and teachers agree that social-emotional learning is an important part of K-12 education, according to a national survey by the EdWeek Research Center. Here’s a snapshot of their attitudes toward social-emotional learning and the challenges and opportunities they see for widespread adoption and practice of SEL in schools.

Special Report: Social-Emotional Learning: Making It Work

of teachers, principals, and district leaders say their schools teach social-emotional learning

of teachers, principals, and district leaders say they don’t.

Views on social-emotional learning?

Transformational way to improve public education

Promising idea

One of many strategies available to me

Not on my radar screen

Passing fad

Threat to public education

“I don’t want SEL data to be a compliance piece. … I want it to be data that [teachers] can use to improve themselves as an adult, in their building, to help kids be more successful.”

Rose Prejean-Harris, director of social-emotional learning, Atlanta Public Schools

Which of the following best describes the social-emotional learning teams at the schools in your district?

Which of the following actions have administrators taken in your district or school?

Select all that apply.

55% Ensuring all staff have professional learning opportunities around students’ social and emotional needs and teaching strategies to promote social and competency development
52% Ensuring staff have access to curriculum and materials that support social-emotional learning programming
50% Helping to establish norms and disciplinary policies that support social-emotional learning
46% Supporting teachers in learning and developing student-centered discipline strategies
42% Providing all staff with professional learning opportunities on promoting equity and cultural competence
37% Conducting regular classroom visits to provide feedback on the classroom environment, instructional practices, and social-emotional learning lessons
32% Ensuring teachers regularly have time to collaborate with colleagues to plan and debrief lessons and teaching practices that promote social-emotional learning
32% Providing all staff with professional learning opportunities on elevating student voice by giving students meaningful opportunities to provide input into rules, norms, disipline, and social-emotional learning at the school
30% Reviewing and adopting an evidence-based social-emotional program that engages all staff in promoting social-emotional learning throughout the school day
30% Developing partnerships with families and community/out-of-school-time providers that engage them in a collaborative effort around promoting student social-emotional learning
3% Administrators in my district/school have not taken any of these actions

Which of the following statements best describes your district or school's approach to social-emotional learning?

Select all that apply.

"Social-awareness, self-management, how we share our own thoughts and opinions and respect those of others—those are critical, and those are not the skills that an employer wants to spend time teaching their adult employees."

Juany Valdespino-Gaytán, executive director of engagement services, Dallas Independent School District

In which areas is social-emotional learning integrated into instruction?

Select all that apply.

Note: Results are from a nationally representative survey of teachers, school leaders, and district leaders.

Source: EdWeek Research Center survey

A version of this article appeared in the April 08, 2020 edition of Education Week as Social-Emotional Learning: What’s Happening in Schools