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Social and Emotional Learning Toolkit

ACT for Youth Highlight
Preparing Youth for Adulthood provides additional curricula and activities related to social and emotional learning:
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The Importance of Cultivating Focus

SEL pioneer Daniel Goleman offers tips and insights from his book about how focus drives achievement and success.

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SEL Strategies and Tools

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is not based on prescribed curricula; instead it is an approach that reflects a set of teaching strategies and practices that are youth-centered. Here are several general strategies and tools to promote social and emotional learning.
  • Young people are diverse in their learning styles and needs. It is essential to assess individual learning styles and be flexible in time management to allow for meeting these different needs. Howard Gardner's "Multiple Intelligences" (PDF) provides a framework.
  • Program activities are more engaging if they are relevant to young people. Identifying and building on young people's individual assets (PDF) and passions are key strategies.
  • Use teaching techniques that build on young people's current knowledge and skills, such as scaffolding (PDF). Provide positive and constructive feedback.
  • Young people need to be active partners in learning. Increase their input and voice through planning and reflection activities. Create meaningful responsibilities and roles for genuine youth engagement throughout programming. Encourage and facilitate young people's shared decision-making through consensus/action planning (PDF).
  • Use active learning strategies such as hands-on, experiential (PDF), and project-based activities.
  • Help young people learn to use critical thinking and responsible decision making skills. Use active listening skills (PDF) with youth.
  • Facilitate peer learning and teaching -- collaborative learning (PDF).


Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)

CASEL promotes evidence-based social and emotional learning strategies and programs primarily in school settings. The website contains information about current research, materials for learning activities, and new initiatives.


Preparing Youth to Thrive

On this website, the Forum for Youth Investment and David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality offer SEL quality improvement tools and resources for out-of-school-time networks.


Social and Emotional Learning Practices: A Self-Reflection Tool

This tool is designed to help after-school program staff reflect upon their own social and emotional competencies and their ability to support young people's social and emotional learning through program practices. Find more SEL after-school resources from American Institutes for Research in this Beyond the Bell spotlight.

SEL Self-Assessment Tool

University of Minnesota Extension: Social and Emotional Learning

This website contains research articles, recorded presentations, and issue briefs by Weissberg, Durlak, and others who have pioneered SEL.

Research and Presentations

Youth Development Insight: Essential Ingredients of Social and Emotional Learning

Kate Walker, University of Minnesota Associate Extension Professor, discusses essential elements of SEL in this blog post.


Edutopia: Social and Emotional Learning

These videos and blog posts offer educators strategies to help students develop social and emotional skills.


An Ideal Opportunity: The Role of Afterschool in Social and Emotional Learning

This issue brief from the Afterschool Alliance makes the case for implementing SEL in programs outside of school.

Issue Brief

TEAL Center (Teaching Excellence in Adult Literacy): Student Centered Learning

Although it refers to adult literacy programs, this fact sheet provides a thorough description and resources relevant to the principles of student-centered learning.

Fact Sheet

Parent Toolkit: Social and Emotional Development

This NBC News "Education Nation" offers information for parents tailored to the child's age.

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