Jargon May Have Turned Parents against Social and Emotional Learning

April 22, 2022
News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

The Hechinger Report

In recent months, some parents have expressed objections to social and emotional learning (SEL) in schools. According to education experts, this backlash is largely due to misunderstanding. SEL is a practice that helps students develop skills in emotion regulation, relationship-building, goal-setting, and decision-making. A recent report found parents in both political parties want their kids to learn SEL-related skills at school, but the term itself is controversial. The authors of the report recommend policymakers and school staff use simple, clear terms to describe SEL and avoid the use of jargon. “SEL has been happening in schools since before there was ever the term ‘SEL,’” said Jim Vetter, an SEL subject matter expert at Education Development Center. “This is not a new thing. It’s really a central part of education.”

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