Why Social and Emotional Learning?

Learning is a social and emotional process where cognitive abilities, emotional competencies, and social and interpersonal skills are intertwined. As noted in the 2019 report, From A Nation At Risk, To A Nation at Hope; “The promotion of social, emotional, and academic learning is not a shifting educational fad; it is the substance of education itself.” The report presents data gathered from educators, students, parents and employers regarding social and emotional development. All findings indicate a need and interest in cultivating social and emotional development throughout the K-12 experience.


More than nine in 10 parents think that schools have a role in reinforcing the development of what they typically call “life skills.”


At least two-thirds of current and recent high school students agree that attending a school focused on social and emotional learning would help improve their relationships with teachers and peers, their learning of academic material, and their preparation for college, careers, and citizenship.


Nine out of 10 teachers believe social and emotional skills can be taught and benefit students. Four in five teachers want more support to address students’ social and emotional development.


Ninety-seven percent of principals believe a larger focus on social and emotional learning will improve students’ academic achievement.


Eight in 10 employers say social and emotional skills are the most important to success and yet are also the hardest skills to find.


What is Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)?

“Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions.”     
CASEL 2017

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) further organizes Social and Emotional Learning into five competencies: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship skills and Responsible Decision Making Skills.

The EmpowerED Pathways Approach to SEL

Our approach to developing the social and emotional competencies of children and adults is providing a framework and a series of tools rather than a packaged “program” or set curriculum.  The EmpowerED Pathways framework is rooted in neuroplasticity, human dignity and promoted through 3 Pathways of Practice:

  • Practices which build awareness and equanimity. 

  • Practices which celebrate our common humanity, and break the walls of indignity.

  • Practices which build kindness and compassion towards self and others. 

To support our mission and vision we directly serve educators, youth and families.