SEL for Students: A Path to Social Emotional Well-Being


Social and emotional learning, or SEL, programs have flourished in schools during the last decade. In this course the instructor (Emily Price) introduces you to the history and framings of social and emotional learning preK-12 curricula, as well as various elementary, middle, and high school SEL programs and associated research.

This course is a part of the 5-course Specialization “The Teacher and Social Emotional Learning (SEL)”. Interested in earning 3 university credits from the University of Colorado-Boulder for this specialization? If so check out “How you can earn 3 university credits from the University of Colorado-Boulder for this specialization” reading in the first module of this course for additional information.
We want to note that the courses in this Specialization were designed with a three-credit university course load in mind. As a participant you may notice a bit more reading content and a little less video/lecture content. Completing and passing the SEL Specialization allows the participant to apply for 3 graduate credits toward teacher re-certification and professional enhancement. We want to ensure the quality and high standards of a University of Colorado learning experience.
Interested in earning 3 graduate credits from the University of Colorado-Boulder for The Teacher and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Specialization? Check out “How you can earn 3 university credits from the University of Colorado-Boulder for this specialization” reading in the first week of this course for more information.

What you will learn

Social Emotional Well-Being for Students

This course focuses on SEL for its most common audience – students in P-12 school-based contexts. We begin this exploration by introducing the concept of social emotional well-being in Week 1. We explore what social emotional well-being is and investigate the relationship between it and the current emphasis on achievement in educational reform. Then, we highlight SEL as one means of developing social emotional well-being, positioning it in relation to other approaches, while highlighting our course’s focus on SEL programs and theories.

The Field of SEL: Purposes and Origins

In this section of the course, we trace the origins of the field of SEL, identifying how a perceived need for greater attention to children’s social and emotional development in schools grew in part from the popularization of theories of multiple intelligence and emotional intelligence in the mid to late 1990s. We identify other educational theories that support this work before attending to a discussion of what SEL is, identified primarily through its goals, purposes, and aims.

SEL Program Formats and Characteristics of Effective Programs

In this section of the course, we attend to the ways in which school-based SEL programs differ with regard to scope, focus, audience and mode of infusion. Additionally, we take up general considerations of the characteristics of effective programs and practices with the intent of providing participants the tools necessary to evaluate specific SEL programs.

SEL Across the Developmental Spectrum: Early Childhood and Elementary

The focus in this section of the course is on SEL programs in early childhood education and in elementary schools. We aim to provide a broad overview of programs on the market, and considerations specific to “doing SEL” with young children. Additionally, we aim to challenge participants to evaluate the usefulness of various programs for their own purposes with respect to the criteria and considerations identified in Week 3.

What’s included