A meta-analysis (PDF) by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) showed that students who received social-emotional learning programs had more positive attitudes about school and improved an average of 11 percentile points on standardized achievement tests compared to students who did not receive such instruction. In short, students with good social-emotional skills perform better in school.
And the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) review of the impact of prevention curricula (PDF) such as the Second Step and Steps to Respect programs on school success found that effective programs resulted in improved standardized test scores; higher GPAs; increased reading, math, and writing skills; and improved graduation rates.
The Skills for Learning taught in the Second Step early learning and K–5 lessons and the Brain Builder games in early learning and K–3 strengthen core self-regulation competencies that help students learn—such as listening, following directions, and paying attention.
Social-emotional learning programs also help strengthen students’ bonds to school, which may help students achieve academically too.