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Site Review: CASEL

Site URL:  http://casel.org/        

Content:  The CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning) site serves as a rich resource on student social-emotional learning (SEL), which is strongly linked to improvements in student achievement, behavior and well-being. The organization is devoted to establishing SEL as an essential part of education. Accordingly, the site provides everything a school needs to know in order to implement a quality SEL initiative.

Site visitors can build understanding as they proceed step-by-step through readiness, planning and sustainability stages. CASEL also offers concrete examples of schools that are putting these ideas into practice. An added bonus: Schools implementing character education or bullying prevention initiatives will find that these fit nicely within the more overarching framework of SEL.

Design:  CASEL earns high marks for its professional-looking design. A clean, uncluttered look and ease of navigation make for a good user experience. Running across the top bar are major categories such as Why It [social-emotional learning] Matters, In Schools (which contains practical and detailed implementation advice) and Policy and Advocacy. In addition, a large, dominating scroller and the smaller boxes beneath it serve to highlight promoted content as well as a Twitter feed.

Review:  The site’s publications area offers articles, case studies and more. Noteworthy content pieces include the excellent guide Safe and Sound, which lays out the evidence base for the value of social and emotional learning, in addition to describing in detail programs that schools have used to achieve success. In addition, a detailed FAQs document gives a good big-picture overview. Everything on the site is quality, right down to the nicely organized reports that are available on CASEL’s past three conferences.

Bottom Line:  CASEL reinforces what savvy educators already know—focusing on student social-emotional health can only benefit academic performance. Under intense pressure to raise achievement, schools would do well to take advantage of the many practical resources CASEL provides.

 

Article by Celine Provini, EducationWorld Editor
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