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Early Childhood Readers Collection

The Early Childhood Readers Collection (ECRC) includes children's literature that highlights and celebrates diversity across a spectrum of inclusion and diversity, from race to sexual orientation to gender identity and disability.

What is Social & Emotional Learning (SEL)?

One of the most widely used frameworks for SEL was developed by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). They define 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”.  

CASEL’s framework includes five core skill areas or competencies:  

  • Self-Awareness: how we think about ourselves and who we are. It includes understanding our culture, our thoughts and feelings, and what we believe we’re capable of. It’s also about understanding how these things can influence our behaviors and beliefs.  
  • Self-Management: involves managing our emotions, thoughts, and actions as we work towards goals. This includes coping with stress and anxiety, persevering through challenges, and developing a sense of personal agency (a willingness and ability to take action to make a difference).  
  • Social Awareness: how we understand others, how we learn to take on different perspectives and have empathy for people, even those who are different from us. It also includes understanding how what’s happening around us can influence us and how we create and feel a sense of belonging.
  • Relationship Skills: how we get along with others and how we form lasting friendships and connections. This includes communicating clearly, solving problems together, managing conflicts and disagreements, and standing up for ourselves and others.  
  • Responsible Decision-Making: how we make positive and informed choices. This includes thinking about the consequences of our actions, being curious and open-minded to new perspectives and information, and identifying solutions that benefit us and the community.

Various Frameworks

CASEL’s framework is one of many; researchers, governmental agencies, and other entities have developed SEL frameworks for use in schools and other environments for young children. The Ecological Approaches to Social Emotional Learning (EASEL) Laboratory, led by Dr. Stephanie Jones of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, works on a variety of projects to investigate SEL best practices, including their Taxonomy Project that offers resources for exploring, comparing and analyzing SEL frameworks.