Social-Emotional Learning In The Time Of COVID-19

Topics: Social Emotional Learning, Pandemic Leadership, Health and Wellness, Principal Leadership

Even before 2020, the promise of social-emotional learning (SEL) was tempered by challenges. Research proves the power of SEL to instill self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making, all for academic benefits. But effectiveness demands sufficient exposure and intensity, integration into daily practices, extension beyond the classroom, and delivery by highly trained staff.

Then a fateful year amplified those challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic closed schools. Protests forced a painful reckoning with systemic racism while raising hope for meaningful change. Just when students needed self-regulation and empathy, they were separated from daily exposure to the tenets of social-emotional learning.

This special issue of Leading Lessons, sponsored by and informed by research from The Wallace Foundation, takes a close look at how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted social-emotional learning in schools, and how principals have adapted as a result.

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