New Study: Social and Emotional Learning Improves Academic Achievement

“At a time when pressures on educators to improve students’ academic achievement seem to have reached a boiling point, one program category, social and emotional learning, has produced academic gains that equal the results of many programs focused exclusively on academics,” writes Dr. Joseph Durlak, lead author of the recent study, “The Impact of Enhancing Students – Social and Emotional Learning: A Meta-Analysis of School-Based Universal Interventions.”

Researchers and psychologists recently released the results of their multi-year study on the outcomes of 213 social and emotional learning programs involving 20,034 students from all walks of life. Social and emotional skills were defined by a process in which students gain skills to:

  • recognize and manage emotions
  • set and achieve positive goals
  • appreciate the perspectives of others
  • establish and maintain positive relationships
  • make responsible decisions
  • handle interpersonal situations effectively

When comparing students who were involved in a school-based social and emotional learning program to those who were not, researchers found significant improvement in those who were involved in a program. Students improved:

  1. Achievement test scores and school grades, including an 11-percentile-point gain in academic achievement
  2. Social and emotional skills
  3. Positive social and classroom behavior
  4. Conduct problems such as classroom misbehavior and aggression
  5. Attitudes about themselves, others, and school
  6. Emotional distress such as stress and depression

Another noted benefit was that students who were involved in a social and emotional learning program had equal gains in their academic achievement as those who were involved in an academically focused program.

LifeBound books and curricula arm students from fifth-grade through college with social and emotional skills to help them succeed in the classroom and their career. We believe successful students and citizens need to think critically and creatively, earn and give respect, communicate clearly, live ethically, be self-aware, listen, motivate, and manage. LifeBound books that are specific to gaining social and emotional skills include:

To find out more about LifeBound Academic Coaches Training, programs in your district, books, and curricula, click here. You can also call our toll-free number 1-877-737-8510.

- To read the full article, “Study: Promoting Students’ Personal and Social Development Boosts Academic Outcomes,” click here.

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