Social-emotional learning (SEL) describes the mindsets, skills, attitudes, and feelings that help students succeed in school, career, and life. SEL focuses on how motivation, social connectedness, and self-regulation enable every student to learn and thrive.
CASEL, a leading SEL organization supporting school districts, defines SEL as the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.
For more about SEL, please see CASEL’s SEL 101: What Are the Core Competencies and Key Settings?
Building SEL Competencies
The CASEL 5 addresses five areas that are fundamental to SEL competence. These skills are important for collaboration and perspective-taking, and serve students well in school and in life. By building skills in these areas, students manage their emotions, handle challenges, and reach their goals.
The CASEL 5 are:
- Social awareness
- Relationship skills
- Responsible decision-making
The Hawaii Department of Education -- in alignment with the 3-1-1 priorities for the 2021-22 school year-- is supporting the development of these skills by surveying students on the following topics to understand their strengths and opportunities for growth:
- Social Awareness
- Sense of Belonging
- Growth Mindset
- Emotional Regulation
Please see the full survey for each grade band here:
- Elementary (3rd - 5th) - 42 questions
- Secondary (6th - 12th) - 45 questions
- Primary (K - 2nd) - 5 questions (Note that teachers of grades K-2 will complete a survey about each of their Homeroom students.)
How Social-Emotional Learning Benefits Students
Social-emotional learning is an important part of a well-rounded education. A meta-analysis from CASEL shows that investment in SEL and opportunities to develop SEL skills lead to improved classroom behavior, better stress management, and 11 percent gains in academics.
A 2019 report from the Aspen Institute, “From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope,” compiles evidence confirming that supporting students’ social, emotional, and cognitive development relates positively to traditional measures like attendance, grades, test scores, graduation rates, college and career readiness, and overall well-being.
On average, CASEL finds that every $1 spent on evidence-based SEL programs has a return of $11, meaning SEL has a positive and substantial return on investment.
Many Benefits of SEL for Students:
- Increased academic achievement
- Increased graduation rates
- Improved college and career readiness
- Increased positive social behaviors
- Decreased behavior issues, such as bullying
- Better ability to manage stress
- Better ability to manage depression
- Better attitudes about themselves, others, and school
Frequently Asked Questions
How was this assessment developed?
The Panorama Social-Emotional Learning Survey was developed under the leadership of Dr. Hunter Gehlbach, currently Vice Dean & Professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Education and director of research at Panorama Education. Dr. Gehlbach and his research team at the Harvard Graduate School of Education followed a rigorous survey development process consisting of literature reviews, focus groups, feedback from experts around the country, cognitive interviews with students, and multiple rounds of piloting and refinement.
Dr. Gehlbach and his team developed the instrument based on modern principles of survey design, which substantially minimizes measurement error. These best practices include:
- Wording survey items as questions rather than statements
- Avoiding “agree-disagree” response options that may introduce a tendency to agree and instead using verbally labeled response options that reinforce the underlying topic
- Asking about one idea at a time rather than using double-barreled items (e.g., “How happy and engaged are you?”)
- Using at least five response options to capture a wider range of perceptions
- Phrasing questions with positive language rather than using reverse-scored or negative language
Panorama’s SEL survey is currently the most widely used across the country. (Tyton Report, 2020)
Can parents view their child’s SEL Assessment data?
Yes. Reports for parents and guardians detailing their child’s SEL survey results will be available through schools following each assessment window. We protect students’ privacy by ensuring that only staff members with legitimate educational interests can view any student’s results. There are no restrictions placed on parents, who can access their child’s SEL results and review/discuss them in detail.
What if I do not want my child to participate in the SEL Assessment?
It is our goal to ensure that every student is safe and supported as they transition back to school. We thank you for being our cherished partners as we work together to educate our students this school year. We value the input of our students as they are important partners in the work to improve the overall school experience and support their needs.
The survey content asks students to self-reflect on their own social-emotional learning skills, like self-management and self-efficacy. Please notify your school’s administrator if you would like your child to opt-out of taking the surveys.
What happens after testing?
The SEL assessment provides an opportunity for educators to look at areas in which students may be thriving, or may need extra support. This information helps teachers plan targeted instruction or intervention if needed. Results support SEL skill development for whole classrooms, small groups, and/or individual students. This way, all students have the opportunity to build the skills needed to be successful.