Social and Emotional Learning; a Proven Investment

Grief support training for educators is compelling. But, as in all things having to do with school services, money is a problem. Administrators calibrating complicated budgets may only approve professional development for staff that is a proven value-added product, preferably supported by data driven results. No more coloring outside the lines. 

Current research does associate a high return on investment in social and emotional learning. In a recent and critical study, reviewed in the latest edition of Education Week, Columbia University researchers Henry M. Levin and Clive Belfield examined the relationship between dollars spent in social and emotional programming and positive outcomes for children, in “The Economic Value of Social and Emotional Learning. The study reveals the benefits associated with social and emotional learning result in a high return on dollars spent. I think this research is pivotal, and helps support the cause for social and emotional training for educators. And naturally, I would add childhood bereavement support training for educators to the list of value added products under consideration. 

"Their findings are striking: Each of the socially and emotionally focused programs—4R’s, Positive Action, Life Skills Training, Second Step, Responsive Classroom, and Social and Emotional Training (Sweden)—showed significant benefits that exceeded costs. In fact, the average among the six interventions showed that for every dollar invested, there is a return of more than 11 dollars. The lead researcher told us, “These are unprecedented returns, particularly given that, while the estimates of the costs are clear, only a portion of the possible benefits are captured.” Benefits include reductions in child aggression, substance abuse, delinquency, and violence; lower levels of depression and anxiety; and increased grades, attendance, and performance in core academic subjects."

Shriver, T., & Bridgeland, J. (2015, March 1). Social-Emotional Learning Pays Off. Education Weekly.

To read Shriver's and Bridgeland's full review link to:


Copyright (2015) Suzanne Bayer. All Rights Reserved.