Improving social-emotional learning

Mary Sheard and Steven Ross outline the important elements of social-emotional learning programmes, based on their own research experience in Northern Ireland

FROM AN EDUCATIONAL PERSPECTIVE, parents, educators, and policy makers share the belief that children should leave school not only proficient in academic subjects but also responsible, respectful, and able to work well with others.

What we know
● SEL programmes can have a significant impact on pupils’ behaviour and learning.
● Research has shown that PATHS (NI) is advantageous to pupils’ social-emotional development.
● Factors that schools should look for when choosing a SEL programme include a focus on skills development, learning goals, effective support and CPD, and high quality resources.
● Schools should choose SEL programmes that have evidence of success.

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February 2012