Congresswoman Susan Davis Bill Would Advance Social and Emotional Learning

Jan 22, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Susan Davis (D-San Diego) introduced legislation to help teachers include social and emotional learning (SEL) in the classroom.  The Supporting Emotional Learning (SEL) Act would amend the Higher Education Act to support teacher training in SEL to help young people better handle societal issues thus boosting their academic potential.  Students receiving social and emotional education do better on tests, show greater pro-social behaviors, and less emotional stress.

“Research shows us that when we impart social and emotional skills to our children, they thrive both academically and socially,” said Davis, a senior member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. “Test scores improve, relationships improve, and school culture improves. We owe it to our students to invest in ways to best teach these important social and emotional skills.”

Along with adding SEL training for teachers, the bill would also prioritize SEL by identifying it as a topic for educational research and turning it into best practices for the classroom.  This provision passed the House as part of the Strengthening Education through Research Act (H.R. 4366) in the 113th Congress.  The Senate however did not act on H.R. 4366.

The benefits of SEL reach far beyond the classroom and help prepare students for future roles as citizens, employees, managers, parents, volunteers, and entrepreneurs. In an increasingly competitive world, there is a need to equip students with the skills necessary to be knowledgeable, responsible, and caring adults.

The SEL Act has been endorsed by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

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