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Student Well-Being Reports

Social-Emotional Learning: 10 Trends In 10 Charts

November 2022

The onset of the coronavirus pandemic caused widespread educational disruptions for K-12 students and educators, alike. The impacts of the pandemic—such as learning loss during remote instruction and social isolation—have taken a toll on students and increased calls to assist them in developing the social-emotional skills needed to cope with challenging times.

Even before the pandemic, some school districts were looking to find strategies to help students learn to manage their emotions, have empathy for others, collaborate, and communicate. But as educators now increasingly focus on such efforts, tensions have sometimes flared regarding the intersection of SEL and political debates around race, gender, and other volatile, hot-button issues.

In September and October 2022, the EdWeek Research Center surveyed teachers, principals, and district leaders to learn more about their perspectives on SEL today. Drawing on results from the nationally representative survey, this Spotlight report sums up 10 broad trends in 10 accompanying charts.

The findings highlight educators’ predictions on whether their districts or schools will increase or decrease financial investments in SEL, changes in the degree to which school districts have been teaching SEL over the past two years, and the amount of pushback educators are receiving from parents concerned that schools are teaching values they don’t approve of for their children.

Coverage of leadership, summer learning, social and emotional learning, arts learning, and afterschool is supported in part by a grant from The Wallace Foundation, at Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.