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Levin, O.; Segev, Y. Social–Emotional Learning. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 23 June 2024).
Levin O, Segev Y. Social–Emotional Learning. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed June 23, 2024.
Levin, Orna, Yael Segev. "Social–Emotional Learning" Encyclopedia, (accessed June 23, 2024).
Levin, O., & Segev, Y. (2023, November 22). Social–Emotional Learning. In Encyclopedia.
Levin, Orna and Yael Segev. "Social–Emotional Learning." Encyclopedia. Web. 22 November, 2023.
Social–Emotional Learning

There has been a dramatic increase in the interest in social–emotional learning (SEL), manifested in both the scientific literature and shifts occurring in education systems worldwide. The CASEL model has been successfully implemented in many education systems in recent years. Nevertheless, empirical studies have examined its effectiveness only in face-to-face teaching settings. There is a need to adapt the model to online learning while taking into account the perspectives of both learners and teachers.

social–emotional learning online teaching and learning CASEL model

1. Introduction

The heightened interest in SEL can be understood in the context of the many changes affecting the realm of education, particularly the shift to online teaching and learning [1]. Hence, numerous organisations, international institutions, and education systems worldwide are addressing the topic and identifying it as a key element for coping effectively with the changing reality [2]. DePaoli et al. [3] noted the paucity of proper training for educational teams and the insufficient number of scientific findings demonstrating the successful use of SEL in schools, all of which weaken the likelihood of its optimal implementation.
Efforts are being made to take steps to examine and advance the implementation of SEL into education systems. Such efforts include formulating the image and characteristics of 21st century high school graduates and the type of SEL and skills they will have to demonstrate [4]. An examination of the sudden transition to distance learning during COVID-19 also indicates that SEL plays an important role in human development, particularly during times of crisis [5]. In this context and from a discipline perspective, no in-depth research has been completed on the application of SEL in literature teaching [6].

2. The Approach to SEL in the Teacher Education Arena

Although there is no single and widely accepted definition for the concept of SEL, it can be generally described as related to a process in which students learn and apply a range of social, emotional, and behavioural skills and characteristics that are required for succeeding in school, in the workplace, in relationships, and in civic life [7]. SEL abilities include skills, knowledge, attitudes, and social–emotional tendencies that are required to formulate goals, regulate behaviours, construct relationships, and analyse and remember information, within contexts that aim to nurture these abilities [8]. SEL abilities also include emotional processes such as regulating emotions and demonstrating empathy, as well as interpersonal skills, such as understanding others’ perspectives and demonstrating social responsibility [9][10]. SEL-related processes should not be considered an independent content unit but rather an integral part of all educational and systemwide relationships. Hence, it is necessary to create the conditions and environment that promote and nurture such skills, characteristics, and tendencies, which, in turn, serve to promote optimal and productive functioning [11].

3. Preparing Educators to Integrate SEL into Their Respective Curricula

The SEL approach has affected the work of in-service and preservice teachers. Schonert-Reichl et al. [12] recommended that teacher education programmes address up-to-date SEL knowledge and consider PSTs’ ability to apply this knowledge not only in the contents of their lessons, but also in their behaviour in general. Other researchers have recommended including SEL content in all processes related to teacher education rather than assigning this topic unique courses. They claim that integrating SEL content into teacher education programmes has led to positive shifts in the perceptions and attitudes of PSTs [13]. However, SEL implementation is a complicated mission because developing students’ SEL requires teachers to develop their SEL abilities as well, and SEL teacher preparation is still deficient [3][14].
A theoretical model that considers the link between the social–emotional abilities of educational teams and the development of these skills among their students was introduced by Jennings and Greenberg [15]. According to this theoretical model, it is essential to first and foremost nurture and develop the skills and abilities of the educational teams to inculcate optimal emotional skills among learners. This idea is based on the understanding that teachers could directly promote the learning and acquisition of SEL skills through the behaviours they demonstrate [11].

4. The Framework of the CASEL Model

The broad use of the concept of SEL, the absence of an authoritative definition, and the numerous academic frameworks that emphasise different aspects of SEL indicate the need to create a conceptual infrastructure and accepted standards when discussing this issue. For the current study, and particularly in light of the goals and the characteristics of SEL that were identified inductively, researchers found the CASEL theoretical model to be particularly suitable, as it comprehensively presents core SEL skills that are integral to the work of educators. Research-wise, researchers relied on the theoretical framework of CASEL since it was empirically examined and found to be effective [16].
The CASEL model addresses five major interlinked realms of SEL, the process through which all people understand and manage their emotions, set positive goals, and act to obtain them. The five linked realms of SEL according to the CASEL model are as follows. Self-awareness: an individual’s ability to identify one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and the way they affect one’s behaviour; self-management: an individual’s ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviours in a variety of situations; social awareness: the ability to understand social and moral norms of behaviour, and identify resources in one’s family, school, and community and rely on them. This realm also includes cultivating an appreciation for variety and difference, respect towards others, listening, sensitivity, and empathy towards others’ feelings [17]; relationship skills: an individual’s ability to create and maintain healthy and reciprocal relationships with others from a variety of sociocultural groups, resist negative social pressures, manage conflict, assist others and ask for assistance; responsible decision making: an individual’s ability to make choices that are informed, moral, and effective as regards interpersonal and social interactions. Skills in this realm include, among other things, problem-solving, reflection, and moral responsibility.
A review of the existing literature from a discipline-specific perspective reveals two separate areas in which knowledge on the use of SEL is lacking. First, there is a lack of sufficient disciplinary knowledge about using SEL in teaching literature, a humane field in which the importance of SEL is immanent. Although there are established bodies of knowledge regarding SEL in other disciplines, such as special education [18], in the field of literature, this knowledge is just beginning to emerge. Moreover, while SEL implementation requires a holistic teaching and learning process, most of the professional literature regarding the teaching of literature focuses on the learners’ perspective without addressing the teachers’ perspective [19][20]. Finally, literature teaching—like any effort to make sense of the human experience [21]—has the potential to promote SEL [22]; however, surprisingly, the use of SEL in literature teaching has not yet been thoroughly researched [6].
The second area stems from the learning setting and the understanding that the little knowledge available about the use of SEL in literature is focused on face-to-face learning. However, in recent years, and especially since the outbreak of COVID-19, online learning has become a growing trend. For example, a study from 2012 found that using SEL practices in literature lessons enhances students’ motivation and understanding of the content knowledge [20]. This is an important finding, but as the study focused only on face-to-face learning, it underscores the need to address the issue of SEL in online literature teaching [23]. Lotan and Miller [24] examined signs of innovation in integrating technology into literature lessons, but their study similarly ignored non-face-to-face learning. Finally, even in studies that examined curricular knowledge in literature [25][26][27], the SEL aspect was absent, and again, the online framework of the literature lesson was not taken into account. It appears that the pedagogical potential of SEL has rarely been investigated in the digital environment concerning teaching literature.

The current study's findings revealed the techno-pedagogical challenges that, unlike the other emerged themes, are not part of the CASEL model. In this sense, the findings suggest that the existing model may be expanded to also address online learning in general, as well as techno-pedagogical aspects in particular. Accordingly, the current study contributes to theoretical and practical knowledge by identifying the need to adapt the existing CASEL model to address learning and teaching needs in an online environment.


  1. Carrillo, C.; Flores, M.A. COVID-19 and teacher education: A literature review of online teaching and learning practices. Eur. J. Teach. Educ. 2020, 43, 466–487.
  2. Corcoran, R.P.; Cheung, A.C.; Kim, E.; Xie, C. Effective universal school-based social and emotional learning programs for improving academic achievement: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 50 years of research. Educ. Res. Rev. 2018, 25, 56–72.
  3. DePaoli, J.L.; Atwell, M.N.; Bridgeland, J. Ready to Lead: A National Principal Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Prepare Children and Transform Schools; A Report for CASEL; Civic Enterprises: Washington, DC, USA, 2017.
  4. Howells, K. The Future of Education and Skills: Education 2030: The Future We Want; OECD: Paris, France, 2018.
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  6. Clarke, C.; Broders, J.A. The benefits of using picture books in high school classrooms: A study in two Canadian schools. Teach. Teach. 2022, 28, 149–163.
  7. Elias, M.J. What if the doors of every schoolhouse opened to social-emotional learning tomorrow: Reflections on how to feasibly scale up high-quality SEL. Educ. Psychol. 2019, 54, 233–245.
  8. Jones, S.M.; Kahn, J. The evidence base for how learning happens: A consensus on social, emotional, and academic development. Am. Educ. 2018, 41, 16.
  9. Berg, J.; Osher, D.; Same, M.R.; Nolan, E.; Benson, D.; Jacobs, N. Identifying, Defining, and Measuring Social and Emotional Competencies; American Institutes for Research: Sacramento, CA, USA, 2017.
  10. Levin, O. Emotional, behavioural, and conceptual dimensions of teacher-parent simulations. Teach. Teach. 2023, 1–18.
  11. Benbenisti, R.; Friedman, T. Cultivating Emotional-Social Learning in the Education System—Summary. The Work of the Committee of Experts, a Snapshot and Recommendations. In Center for Knowledge and Research in Education; The Israeli National Academy of Sciences: Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Israel, 2020. (In Hebrew)
  12. Schonert-Reichl, K.A.; Kitil, M.J.; Hanson-Peterson, J. To Reach the Students, Teach the Teachers: A National Scan of Teacher Preparation and Social Emotional Learning; A Report Prepared for CASEL; Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning: Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2017.
  13. Waajid, B.; Garner, P.W.; Owen, J.E. Infusing Social Emotional Learning into the Teacher Education Curriculum. Int. J. Emot. Educ. 2013, 5, 31–48.
  14. Jones, S.M.; Brush, K.; Ramirez, T.; Mao, Z.X.; Marenus, M.; Wettje, S.; Finney, K.; Raisch, N.; Podoloff, N.; Kahn, J.; et al. Navigating SEL from the Inside out: Looking inside and across 33 Leading SEL Programs; Revised and Expanded Second Edtion; Harvard Graduate School of Education: Cambridge, MA, USA, 2021.
  15. Jennings, P.A.; Greenberg, M.T. The prosocial classroom: Teacher social and emotional competence in relation to student and classroom outcomes. Rev. Educ. Res. 2009, 79, 491–525.
  16. Ross, K.M.; Tolan, P. Social and emotional learning in adolescence: Testing the CASEL model in a normative sample. J. Early Adolesc. 2018, 38, 1170–1199.
  17. OECD Organization. OECD Future of Education and Skills 2030: OECD Learning Compass 2030; A Series of Concept Notes; OECD: Paris, France, 2019.
  18. Frei-Landau, R.; Avidov-Ungar, O.; Heaysman, O.; Abu-Sareya, A.; Idan, L. Conceptualising Bedouin teachers’ social-emotional learning in the context of teaching children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Teach. Educ. 2023, 1–24.
  19. Levin, O.; Segev, Y. Learning-Teaching Processes in Online Clinical Simulation within Disciplinary Training of Literature. L1-Educ. Stud. Lang. Lit. 2023, 23, 1–19.
  20. Shechtman, Z.; Abu Yaman, M. SEL as a component of a literature class to improve relationships, behavior, motivation, and content knowledge. Am. Educ. Res. J. 2012, 49, 546–567.
  21. Corni, F. Stories in physics education. In Frontiers of Fundamental Physics and Physics Education Research; Springer International Publishing: Berlin/Heidelberg, Germany, 2014; pp. 385–396.
  22. Hawkman, A.M.; Tofel-Grehl, C.; Searle, K.; MacDonald, B.L. Successes, challenges, and surprises: Teacher reflections on using children’s literature to examine complex social issues in the elementary classroom. Teach. Teach. 2022, 28, 584–602.
  23. Poyas, Y.; Elkad-Lehman, I. Literature through the Classroom Walls: Teaching and Learning Literature in Schools in Israel; The MOFET Institute: Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel, 2022. (In Hebrew)
  24. Lotan, T.; Miller, M. Signs of innovation in the integration of technology in the education of literature teachers. In Teacher Education in the Labyrinths of Innovative Pedagogy; Poyas, Y., Ed.; The MOFET Institute: Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Israel, 2016; pp. 196–227. (In Hebrew)
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  27. Levin, O.; Baratz, L. Reading in order to teach reading: Processive literacy as a model for overcoming difficulties. L1-Educ. Stud. Lang. Lit. 2019, 19, 1–24.
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