Social and Emotional Resources

Transitional Barriers such as curricula and enrollment hurdles, adapting to new environments, limited access to peer engagement, and public school administrators lack of understanding of military culture may significantly impact the academic, social and emotional growth of mobile military students. School faculty and staff who implement positive strategic programming and support systems have the potential to ease the transitional period. This article delivers two major objectives: a review of the challenges that impact mobile military children and information school counselors can use in developing student programs and staff training.

(Part 1 of 4) Exploring the characteristics of effective SEL programs, this report highlights SEL programs utilizing core practices outlined by the S.A.F.E. Strategy were more successful in target outcomes. Research concludes teacher training and technical assistance, programs targeting specific classroom or district needs, programs aligned across grade levels and contexts, and classroom activities dedicated to practicing social and emotional skills are necessary to the effectiveness of the program.

(Part 2 of 4) Successful implementation should follow continuous improvement process that includes having 1) a purposeful, well-conceived plan, 2) starting small with a commitment to ongoing development, 3) measuring implementation fidelity to understand what happened during an intervention and to enhance service delivery, and 4) assess SEL outcomes. Effective and sustainable SEL programming requires leadership, resources, and legislative support from the state and district. States can support by adopting and measuring state SEL standards related indicators of social and emotional learning. Districts can support by engaging stakeholders, assessing resource needs, adapting evidence based SEL programs and interpreting social and emotional learning into teacher and administered evaluation systems.

(Part 3 of 4) The presence of a SEL “tool kit” comprising instructional strategies, a positive classroom climate, and a teacher with social and emotional competence can enhance classroom implementation of social and emotional learning. Strategies to build teacher social and emotional competence include implementing direct training, reflective supervision, relationship building, and stress reduction techniques. Institutional strategies that promote social and emotional learning include modeling, reacting to, and instructing students about expression, emotions, and social relationships. Strategies for positive classroom climate include modifying the physical space materials, applying classroom management strategy and routines, and fostering a supportive and emotionally positive environment.

(Part 4 of 4) This report reviews the literature on outcomes for general student population and for student subgroups including students in low-income families, racial/ethnic minority students, male and female students, English learner students, and students from Urban and rural locals. The result of the 6 meta-analysis on the effect of social and emotional learning programs show the following positive effects: increased academic motivation, self-efficacy, emotion recognition, empathy, and bonding to school. SEL programs were shown to result in higher grade and test scores, increase conflict-resolution skills and reduced anti-social behaviors and behavior problems. Research shows that SEL programs are effective for these subpopulations in addition to the general population of students.

This guide helps educators identify better ways to assess and report on students’ social-emotional skills and character development within school report cards.

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