What is SEL?

Social Emotional Learning Definition

SEL — an acronym for “Social Emotional Learning” — is a process for developing skills that underpin academic success. Specifically, SEL focuses on the identification and management of one’s emotions, goals, and mindsets.

Often referred to as “soft” or “non-cognitive” skills, SEL competencies are key to academic growth and personal well-being. SEL programs in schools complement and support existing curricula by teaching the skills that allow students to achieve improved academic and social outcomes.

Where Did SEL Originate?

First emerging in the mid-90s, the term “social and emotional learning” focused on positive youth development activities in schools. Initial programs included under the SEL umbrella included violence prevention, sex education, drug prevention, civic education and others.

Over the years, SEL has expanded to include non-cognitive skill development—such as growth mindset and relationship building. As public interest in SEL skills has grown, funded studies, research, and curriculum development have moved SEL forward. Now bolstered by years of academic research and proven results, SEL has worked its way into public consciousness. Today, schools across the nation—and around the world—have active SEL programs.

How is ACT | Mawi Learning’s Approach to SEL Different?

We focus on the application of Social Emotional Learning to get real results for students and educators. Our CASEL-aligned Turbo Toolkit focuses on taking abstract, intangible SEL research and turning its findings into concrete, easy-to-use tools. By applying our Turbo Tools, students self-efficacy and improve their academic performance in any setting.

We believe that every student can activate Turbo and take control of their circumstances and academic performance. The right tools make this possible for everyone.