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Social and Emotional Learning

Social and Emotional Learning
A Critical Appraisal

Edited by:

May 2013 | 184 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
'A landmark book for SEL. It provides an even-handed, scholarly appraisal of the latest research. This major contribution will advance SEL science, improve school-based practice, and benefit many students' -Professor Roger Weissberg, University of Illinois at Chicago

This important new book provides the first in-depth, authoritative and balanced examination of the critical issues pervading Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). The book highlights strengths and flaws in SEL theory and research, and sets the agenda for the next generation of inquiry.

The book investigates key topics such as:

- definitions and conceptualization

- origins and influences

- international policy and practice

- assessment and monitoring

- implementation

- outcomes

It will be valuable to researchers, policy-makers, students, teachers, and anyone interested in the role of schools play in promoting children's social and emotional wellbeing.

Neil Humphrey is Professor of Psychology of Education at the University of Manchester


Rationale For The Text

What is SEL?

A Taxonomy of SEL

Why Has SEL Become So Popular?

What can Research Tell Us About SEL?

The Importance of Implementation

The Structure of this Book

Notes on Voice, Terminology and Textual Features

What Do We Mean by Social and Emotional Learning?

The Prevailing Definition of SEL

The Universalist Approach (And Its Potential Problems)

What Is The Nature Of The Skills Imparted Through SEL?

The Broader Discourse - Diversity Or Dilution?

Mapping SEL And Associated Concepts

The Backbone Of SEL

Mental Health And Well-being

How Does SEL Work? An Analysis Of The Logic Model

Direct Links Between SEL And School Outcomes

Indirect Links Between SEL And School Outcomes

Further Reading

Origins and Influences

The Historical Rools of SEL

Progressive Education

The Interplay Between Emotions And Reason

The Influence Of Social, Emotional And Multiple Intelligences

The Self-esteem Movement

A Youth In Crisis

Evidence For Hope Rather Than Despair

Risk, Protection And Resilience

The Field Of School-based Prevention

The Political and Financial Drivers of SEL

Further Reading

SEL Around the World

The United States


Northern Ireland




Convergences And Divergences in SEL Across The World - An Analysis

Further Reading


The Importance Of Assessment

Key Issues In Assessing SEL

A Selected Anthology Of Measures Of Social And Emotional Competence In Children And Young People

Beyond Social And Emotional Competence - What Else Should Be Assessed?

Further Reading


Implementation Matters

Elements Of Implementation

Factors Affecting Implementation

Bringing It All Together - The Implementation Quality Framework

Further Reading

Outcomes of SEL

What Does The Research Tell Us About The Impact of SEL On Outcomes For Children And Young People?

Key Issues In Interpreting SEL Outcome Research

Interpreting SEL Evaluation Studies With Null Results: A Framework

Further Reading


Examine The Orthodoxy Of SEL

Future Directions

Final Thoughts

Further Reading


This book is well-written and easy to follow. The book provides a strong balance of perspectives which are supported by detailed research and evidence. I recommend to anyone teaching in the area of education and child development - if school-based practice is required.

Mrs Annabel Latham
School of Education, Aberystwyth University
February 22, 2021

The book provides an in-depth-overiew of latest research on this topic. It also gives ideas on what to focus in the future.

Mrs Julia Zuber
Paedagogik und paedagogische Psychologie , Johannes Kepler University of Linz
September 3, 2015

Essential reading for students writing in the area of SEL

Ms Kathy Evans
School of Education, Univeristy of South Wales
February 23, 2015

This is a really good book, well written and full of excellent information

Mr Phillip Bowen
Northampton Business School, Northampton Univ.
June 30, 2014

Social and emotional learning is an area that is not given enough attention whether teaching or in practice. This book allows a more considered view

Mrs Janet Gargiulo
Health and Social Care, Glyndwr University
June 10, 2014

Excellent text and a topic of increasing interest to teachers

Miss Christine Hibbert
Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, Sheffield Hallam University
April 8, 2014

good introductory book including review of up-to-date research and literature

Ms Andrea Collins
Faculty of Education, University of St Mark & St John
April 2, 2014

Excellent focus, a 'must' read

Dr Liane Purnell
Department of Education, Newman University College
March 19, 2014

A good overview of key issues will be a useful source for my students

Ms Kathy Stephenson
education childhood inclusion, Sheffield Hallam University
October 11, 2013

A comprehensive and critical exploration of SEL, the first of its kind as far as I am aware. An important text to develop future practitioners' awareness of some of the key thematic issues within education in relation to SEL.

Sasha Pleasance
Care & Learning Opportunities, South Devon College
August 14, 2013

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter Sample: Introduction

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