Embedding Social and Emotional Learning in High School Classrooms by Carol Miller Lieber and Michele Tissiere, with Sarah Bialek

Well-researched strategies exist for implementing social and emotional learning (SEL) in elementary grades in ways that reach and impact every child, but there is insufficient clarity and far less research on how to implement comprehensive SEL in high school settings.

Engaging Schools believes that a foundational approach to implementing SEL in high schools is embedding SEL instruction and support into every classroom. This approach describes how  high school teachers can systematically integrate SEL skills into their teaching practice in order to develop students’ cognitive, social, and emotional competencies. It also creates a more equitable and engaging environment where meaningful learning and social experiences take place.

This paper, funded by the NoVo Foundation, presents our framework for using students’ mindsets as an entry point for teaching four broad student skill sets – self-awareness, self-management, social efficacy, and academic efficacy – in ways that are developmentally appropriate, culturally responsive, and academically relevant to high school students. It includes a wide set of competencies we call Learning and Life Competencies that flow from these skill sets. Each Learning and Life Competency (e.g., cooperation, participation, organizing to learn and study) includes explicit desired target behaviors and understandings that can be modeled, taught, practiced, and assessed in any classroom.

Click here to download Embedding Social and Emotional Learning in High School Classrooms. To learn more about our Engaged Classrooms services which align directly with the framework we’ve set forth in the paper, please click here.

About the authors

Carol Miller Lieber got the call to teach as a teenager and never stopped. Exploration of the art, craft, and science of teaching and learning has been her driving passion for over forty-five years as an urban educator in the roles of middle and high school teacher, school founder, principal, curriculum writer, and clinical professor in teacher education. She is a national leader in integrating principles of personalization, schoolwide and classroom discipline, and youth development into everyday practices and structures for middle and high schools. Carol is the author or co-author of many books and publications including the upcoming book Engaged Classrooms: Supporting Academic Success for Every Adolescent, Shifting Gears: Recalibrating Schoolwide Discipline and Student Support, Making Learning REAL: Reaching and Engaging All Learners and Getting Classroom Management Right. She is also a longtime professional development consultant and program designer for Engaging Schools.

Michele Tissiere has extensive experience as a classroom teacher and senior administrator in secondary schools. As director of programs for Engaging Schools, she oversees the implementation of the Engaged Classrooms, Schoolwide Discipline and Student Support, and Advisory Plus programs. Michele has deep experience partnering with district leaders, school leaders, and teachers to support professional learning opportunities that maximize adults’ capacity to carry out the complex work of school change, helping to shape healthy faculty, peer, school, and classroom cultures. Michele is author or co-author of several publications including the upcoming book Engaged Classrooms: Supporting Academic Success for Every Adolescent, Shifting Gears: Recalibrating Schoolwide Discipline and Student Support, and Getting Advisory Right: Tools for Supporting Effective Advisories.

The timing couldn’t be better for a thought-provoking white paper that spells out what should be the foundation for implementing SEL in high schools, and offers a framework for reaching all students, every day, all the time. Embedding Social and Emotional Learning in High School Classrooms provides valuable insights into how to do SEL in high schools, and makes a crucial contribution to advancing the field.
              – Jennifer Buffett, Co-President, NoVo Foundation