Assessing Social-Emotional Learning
This resource provides a brief overview on social emotional learning (SEL) and its importance in students’ learning and achievement, a fact which is recognized in the new regulations under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The authors’ purpose in this article is to make aware that “the validity of using assessments of these factors to inform high-stakes teacher- or school-level accountability decisions remains an open question in need of substantial further research” (p. 20). They offer three general recommendations on the assessment of SEL:
SEL skills tend to be complex and multifaceted, so when feasible, multiple types of assessment should be targeted at each construct of interest;
Assessments should be standardized to ensure students and teachers are encountering comparable stimuli across school contexts; and
State boards of education and state education agencies work with experts in the field to both build SEL assessments and thoroughly research their measurement characteristics, validity, and fairness.