What is SEL?
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.
Previous generations might have referred to this learning as “life skills” or “soft skills.” To that end, social and emotional learning is not a new concept.
But as students face changes and challenges, including the upheaval and isolation that has occurred in the years since March 2020, the impact of social and emotional learning on students’ academic success cannot be overstated.
Research shows that students who receive high-quality SEL instruction have achievement scores that are, on average, 13 percentile points higher than students who did not receive SEL instruction. Student gains also include improved attitudes about self, others, and schools; positive classroom behavior, and strengthening social and emotional skills.
This type of instruction is also a critical tool for classroom management. It has been shown to reduce conduct and behavior challenges by 22% in students, such as misbehavior and emotional distress by 24%, which helps build a positive environment for all learners.
So how do we bring SEL instruction to our classrooms, after-school, and home environments? And how do we as adults build our own emotional wellbeing and mental health so we can best serve the students we care for?
This website exists to show you how.
Where to start.
There are an overwhelming number of resources about Social and Emotional Learning. It can be hard to know where to start.
A team of experts at the Arizona Department of Education have collected and vetted a number of evidence-based strategies, resources, and competencies available to parents, educators, and school leaders alike.
SEL works best with the support of families and caregivers, classroom educators, school counselors and social workers, principals, and district leaders.
Please click below to find resources relevant to you.
Parents and Caregivers
School Leaders and Administrators
As a reminder, any reference to a specific product, process, or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the Arizona Department of Education of the product, process, or service, or its producer or provider. Any suggested lessons or classroom materials do not supersede the curriculum and materials decided upon by local education agencies.
Quick starting points.
- SEL Competencies: explore the SEL competencies, designed by the Arizona Department of Education, and learn how to integrate them into the subjects you teach.
- SEL Professional Development: dive into the SEL professional development opportunities offered by the Department and our partners
- SEL Funding Guide: Learn about existing grants and federal funds you can tap into to build an infrastructure of SEL instruction and professionals in your school or district.
Join the SEL Professional Learning Community.
Join our listserv to become part of the Arizona Department of Education's SEL Professional Learning Community. Our SEL Professional Learning Community holds regular meetings, which you will be invited to by signing up for this listserv. Additionally, you'll receive resources, updates, and more from our program area specialists.