SEL Research Round-Up: The Best of 2022

As we approach the end of 2022 and many of us begin to reflect on the past 365 days, it is equal parts impressive, encouraging, and staggering to think about how much the world of social and emotional learning has progressed in the past year—let alone the last several years.

One aspect of the field that experienced notable growth this year was research on the shifting landscape of SEL in K-12, particularly regarding new insights for practitioners. A quick search on Google Scholar for publications with “social-emotional learning” cited as a keyword indicates that over 4,500 studies were published in 2022.

To help unpack some of the most influential publications from the past year, the editorial team at Inside SEL curated a list of ten impactful studies and reports that – in our view – represent the “best of” 2022 in the research world. Continue reading to learn more about new findings in the field of SEL and a few emerging trends to keep an eye out for in 2023.


(10) Is Your State Prioritizing Students’ Social, Emotional, and Academic Development?

Building upon a seminal report from 2020 that focused on efforts to holistically support both social and emotional needs and academic learning for students, The Education Trust and CASEL partnered to create a scan of state policies across domains that support equitable social, emotional, and academic development.

These scans (based on publicly available information as of 2021, including state education websites, published materials by states, and legislation) examine state policies regarding:

  • Discipline
  • Professional Development
  • Rigorous & Culturally Sustaining Curriculum
  • Student, Family, and Community Engagement
  • Wraparound Services

Two states – Massachusetts and Minnesota – were highlighted as most supportive in terms of promising SEAD practices.

(9) Strengthening Students’ Social and Emotional Skills: Lessons from Six Case Studies of Schools and Their Out-of-School-Time Program Partners

This report from the Wallace Foundation presents cross-cutting lessons from a set of case studies exploring how schools and out-of-school-time (OST) programs can work together to build students’ social and emotional learning skills.

The analysis of these case studies reveals nine factors that facilitated progress in carrying out SEL programs and practices:

  1. Committed school/OST program leaders were the foundation on which SEL work was built.
  2. SEL committees guided and supported implementation.
  3. Prioritizing time for SEL in school and OST schedules was important to making implementation routine.
  4. Starting the efforts by building adults’ social and emotional skills proved central.
  5. Short SEL rituals w​ere often the first and most widely adopted strategy, setting the stage for more extended SEL instruction.
  6. Establishing trusting relationships enhanced the collaboration on SEL in school-OST program partnerships.
  7. Formal, written SEL resources facilitated a consistent approach within and across settings.
  8. Distributing “ownership” of SEL across staff members and students increased people’s buy-in to the effort and its sustainability.
  9. Experience with SEL before the pandemic helped schools and OST programs adapt to COVID-19 disruptions.​​​

To read the full December edition of the SEL in 5+ newsletter, click here to subscribe. Sign up between now and January 3 to receive our holiday discount of 50% off for one year ($25/yr or $2.50/mo.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close