The Future of Education Depends on Social Emotional Learning: Here’s Why

Article from EdSurge

Social and emotional abilities are said to be indicators of how well a person adjusts to his or her environment, adapts to change and, ultimately, how successful she or he will be in life. In fact, core development abilities such as conscientiousness, emotional stability, openness and agreeableness can be as or even more important than cognitive intelligence in determining future employment. Despite these competencies being related to consequential life outcomes, it can be challenging for educators to find effective ways to prioritize, teach and assess social and emotional skills.

Developing these core life abilities through social and emotional learning (SEL) is critical to a child’s development, as it directly correlates to success and happiness as an adult. For many children, school is the only place where any deficiencies in these abilities can be addressed before they become active members of society.

Combining these skills with academic development creates high-quality learning experiences and environments that empower students to be more effective contributors in their classrooms today and in their workplaces and communities tomorrow.

Is SEL worth the investment?

According to “Ready to Lead,” a report for the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) based on a national principal survey on how SEL can prepare children and transform schools, there is data to support the importance of embedding social and emotional development in schools. The report cites a 2011 meta-analysis that found that students who receive high-quality SEL instruction have achievement scores on average of 11 percentile points higher than students who did not receive SEL instruction.

However, the benefits of SEL do not end at graduation. A recent study from The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)looked at five primary social and emotional skills—open-mindedness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, extraversion and agreeableness—to determine which are the strongest indicators of success. The study revealed a lack of SEL regularly correlated with unfavorable outcomes such as an increased chance of unemployment, divorce, poor health, criminal behavior and imprisonment.

To further justify the advantages of SEL, the report shared that advances in neuroscience imply developing SEL skills in kindergarten “can have long-term academic benefits on students’ reading and vocabulary, including in high poverty schools, suggesting that SEL may assist in closing achievement gaps.” It also stated, “researchers at Columbia University concluded that for every dollar a school spends on social-emotional learning programs, it sees an eleven dollar return on its investment,” indicating the investment in SEL is worthwhile.

The development of these skills has shown overall positive results, including better academic performance, improved attitudes, behaviors and relationships with peers, as well as deeper connection to school, fewer delinquent acts and reduced emotional distress (student depression, anxiety, stress and social withdrawal).

When it comes to translating those skills beyond the classroom, the OECD explains that subjective well-being can be defined as having a positive mental state; when reviewing the impact of SEL on adolescents, the results—which mirror findings from adult samples—indicate more ties between SEL skills and life satisfaction than between cognitive skills and life satisfaction by nearly 10 percent. Emotional stability appears to be the most relevant of the top SEL skills that correlate to life satisfaction, with consciousness and extraversion showing relevance in job and life satisfaction.

How do teachers feel about SEL?

According to the CASEL report, “Ready to Lead,” interest in and support for SEL are high among teachers and school administrators. Principals, specifically, are eager for the expertise, training and support necessary to effectively implement new programming. The survey findings state that while a majority of principals (97 percent) believe teaching SEL skills in school will improve student behavior, learning and development, only 35 percent report their school has developed a plan for teaching students social and emotional skills. What’s more, only 40 percent of principals anticipate it will improve academic performance, which is an indicator of the disconnect between SEL support and implementation.

A United States national teacher survey called “The Missing Piece”, a report for CASEL, supports the idea that teachers widely endorse SEL. Ninety-five percent of those surveyed believe that SEL skills are teachable and that the curriculum can benefit students from all backgrounds.

When will SEL become a priority?

Although the vast majority of education stakeholders agree SEL is important, it has remained on the sidelines while education leaders have instead focused on academics alone—as opposed to the development of the whole child.

Given the support that SEL has in the education community, it may just be a matter of time before it is widely adopted. Developing an emphasis on SEL in schools will lead to a more supportive space for students to freely share their creative ideas, shamelessly ask questions and learn academic concepts while building lifelong skills. The widespread advancement of SEL will require a gradual and grand shift in pedagogy. In the process, we can forge a more well-rounded education system to produce more socially responsible citizens who are better prepared to work together to build communities, nations and, ultimately, a better world.

Integrating Conscious Discipline in your day to day teaching is a long term process

Integrating Conscious Discipline in your day to day teaching is a long term process. Focus on one of the seven skills each month.

• Start with Composure and Unity prior to the start of the school year.
• Focus on these skills for the first six weeks of school.
• Then focus on the skill of Assertiveness for one month.
• Continue with a new skill and work on it for a month,
• Repeat until you have focused on all seven skills..

In general, you need to know the big ideas for each skill. Attending the 3-Day event will help you become familiar with the essential skills and the book provides activities to help you continue throughout the year. Did you know that their website also has printables? Check out these Safe Place Breathing icons.

Join us July 9-11, 2018

Register for Workshop SU1837600

The New Conscious Discipline book – Expanded & Updated will be provided with registration.


Texas Early Childhood Learning Summit – Aug 1-3, 2018

Registration is now open for the Texas Early Childhood Learning Summit. 

The conference will feature training sessions that meet the professional development needs of both certified PreK teachers and child care staff (there are a limited number of sessions for Infant and Toddler specific topics).

Click for more information about registration.  Registration is FREE but a limited number of spaces are available. 

Don’t forget to STAR – Smile Take a deep breath And Relax, the school year is over!

Wow can you believe school is out! Another school year has ended and with it many emotions and memories gush through your head. Take a moment to STAR and think about all the great and not so great things that happened this last year.. did you put in practice the skill of composure? did you have some not so great moments that impacted your emotions? It can be easy to loose our composure but it is one of the most important principles that affect children’s behavior.

Join us July 9-11, 2018 to learn ways to keep your composure and why it is so crucial when working with children.



Register for Workshop SU1837600

The New Conscious Discipline book – Expanded & Updated will be provided with registration.

Early Bird Discounts – Register by May 31st and receive $30 off – Use code CDMAY


Conscious Discipline – Free Printables + Book Study resources to keep learning year round!

Last Days to Save! May Early Bird Discount Ends Soon

Did you know that Conscious Discipline has several free printables and online resources to do a book study? Join us this Summer for a 3-Day event to learn more about Conscious Discipline and continue learning throughout the year! 

Book Portal – Access bonus content and resources referenced in the book

Free Resources 

July 9-11, 2018

Register for Workshop SU1837600

The New Conscious Discipline book – Expanded & Updated will be provided with registration.

Early Bird Discounts – Register by May 31st and receive $30 off – Use code CDMAY

Free – Children’s Day Book Workshop – May 23

You are cordially invited to the Children’s Day Workshop on May 23rd, 2018 at the Austin Public Library. Professional Development hours will be issued by Region 13. Please RSVP to

See the flyer for more details. Children’s Book Day Workshop – Program – Austin May 23 2018

Sessions include:

08:30 – 09:15

The Colorful Monster, Communications of Emotions during Childhood

El monstruo de colores, la comunicación de las emociones en la infancia.

09:45 – 10:30

Diversity through Four Literary Examples

La diversidad a través de cuatro ejemplos literarios  

10:45 – 11:30

Reading Comprehension Related to Writing, PIRLS Tests

Comprensión lectora y producción textual. Pruebas PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study).

And more!!

Conscious Discipline: Navigating Lockdowns from a Teacher’s Perspective

Classroom teachers are charged with unique responsibilities, from physical protector to emotional caregiver for their students—all while experiencing their own fears and feelings. Listen as Kindergarten teacher Tiffany Taylor and 5th grade teacher Kristin Abel share helpful ways they prepare themselves and their students for active shooter and lockdown drills. Listen Now 

Want to learn more about Conscious Discipline? Take advantage of our April Early Bird Discount!

Join us this Summer for a 3-Day event to learn more about Conscious Discipline.

July 9-11, 2018

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


Register for Workshop SU1837600

The New Conscious Discipline book – Expanded & Updated will be provided with registration.

Early Bird Discounts – Register by April 30th and receive a 15% discount ($45) – Use code CDAPRIL

6th Annual Adelante! Conference 2018 – Saturday, April 21, 2018

¡Adelante! is an educator­‐led conference focused on Bilingual/Dual Language education in Central Texas. This conference is a forum for educators to share their experiences with other educators, to disperse insight and innovations in teaching and learning that occur daily on campuses throughout the region, and to ignite conversations among educators about working with bilingual students, families, and communities.

The 6th Annual Adelante! Conference 2018 will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel on  Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the DoubleTree Hotel is located  on 6505 N I-35 (I-35 & Hwy 290 East). Registration is still open.

To register follow this link: