Principals, Teachers Prioritize Social-Emotional Skills for Students

  • 2019-06-11
  • Education Dive

Almost three-fourths of principals say developing students’ social and emotional skills is either their school’s top priority or one of the top goals, according to new results from the American Educator Panels, an ongoing project of the RAND Corp.

The surveys of both teachers and school leaders, however, showed teachers place more importance than principals on students developing specific skills, such as understanding and managing emotions, showing empathy, and setting and achieving positive goals.

But principals were more likely than teachers to strongly agree that social-emotional learning (SEL) programs can lead to improvement in other areas, such as student achievement, school climate and student behavior.

A new case study from the Learning Policy Institute features Lakewood Elementary School in California’s Sunnyvale School District, where teachers focus instruction on specific SEL skills, follow a positive behavior system, and work in partnership with community organizations and agencies to increase students’ access to counseling.