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Social and Emotional Learning

Social and Emotional Learning
A Critical Appraisal

Edited by:

April 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


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

great suggestions supported with theory

Miss Anita Chamberlain
Faculty of Education (Lancaster), University of Cumbria
July 11, 2013

An excellent analysis of SEL - this book has an ambitious remit, but the author achieves his aims with authority and conviction while maintaining a balanced and fair approach throughout. Suitable for a wide audience, from researchers to practitioners. Highly recommended.

Dr Judith Hebron
School of Education (ESI), University of Manchester
May 13, 2013

This book provides an insightful and important contribution to the contemporary educational issues encompassing social and emotional learning. The narrative text engages the reader in both the complexity and practical application of SEL. The author proposes a clear and articulate argument for greater interest from the academic and research community.

Mrs Sally Goldspink
Allied Health & Medicine, Anglia Ruskin University
April 30, 2013

An insightful look at a topic which any educator should be aware of.

Mr Neil Rutledge
Education (Carlisle), University of Cumbria
April 17, 2013

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter Sample: Introduction

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781446256961
ISBN: 9781446256954

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