Elements of Successful SEL Programs

Harvard’s Easel Lab produced a brief that describes features and best practices of effective social and emotional learning programs and offers a set of recommendations.

The brief can be found here thanks to the Knowledge Centre of the Wallace Foundation.

Some key highlights from the brief:

Current research outlines 4 elements of successful SEL programs, using the acronym SAFE:

Sequenced activities that lead in a coordinated and connected way to skill development,
Active forms of learning that enable children to practice and master new skills,
Focused time spent developing one or more social and emotional skills,
Explicit defining and targeting of specific skills.11 But SEL is about more than just targeting and building skills

The brief builds on the SAFE elements and their research shows that SEL efforts are most successful when they also:

  1. Occur within supportive contexts…
  2. Build adult competencies.
  3. Partner with family and community.
  4. Target key behaviors and skills.
  5. Set reasonable goals.

For more details and to learn more about recommendations for effective implementation, check out the brief here.

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