Supports for Social and Emotional Learning in Schools

RAND Corporation researchers conducted a spring 2019 survey through the American Teacher Panel (ATP), a nationally representative sample of K–12 teachers. The team received responses from more than 1,200 teachers across the United States working in schools in different geographic locations and economic conditions and serving different student populations. The findings from this study, which are summarized in this research brief and documented in the full report, can help education policymakers and practitioners strengthen their supports for SEL in schools. The survey asked teachers several questions about their beliefs about SEL and their role in promoting it. As Figure 1 shows, teachers’ self-efficacy (i.e., their confidence in their ability to improve students’ social and emotional competencies) was high; roughly 90 percent of elementary teachers and slightly fewer secondary teachers agreed that they could get through to even the most-difficult students. The responses also suggest that teachers felt confident in their ability to improve student SEL. However, teachers identified limits to what they could do in their classrooms. Many teachers expressed a belief that factors beyond their control had a greater influence on students’ SEL than they did and that pressure to improve students’ academic achievement made it difficult to focus on SEL. #education

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