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Several recent publications on college and career readiness, deeper learning, and 21st-century skills cite personal and social competencies, often called “noncognitive skills,” as fundamental to students’ level of engagement in middle and high school, their post-secondary performance and completion, and their workplace success (ACT, 2014; National Research Council, 2012).Recognition of the unique needs of students aged 10-15 began with the advent of the “middle school movement” and continues today (Association for Middle Level Education, 2010).
Interventions that promote SEL promote academic performance (Durlak et al., 2011).
Evidence-based programs designed to promote positive outcomes and prevent problem behavior in students are increasingly being used in educational settings.
They have evolved out of different traditions including education, public health, psychology, prevention science, positive youth development, character education, and social and emotional learning (SEL).
We also thank the many SEL program developers and researchers who have generously and graciously shared their evaluation reports, curriculum materials, and professional learning strategies during our extensive review process.
And we express our sincere appreciation to the CASEL board of directors and the team of colleagues at CASEL and the University of Illinois at Chicago Social and Emotional Learning Research Group who produced this guide.