How ‘Social and Emotional Learning’ Became the Newest Battleground

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Social and emotional learning (SEL) is a longstanding educational concept aimed at teaching children skills like managing stress, treating others with respect and empathy, working cooperatively, and recognizing emotions.

 

But even as some educators have turned to social-emotional learning as a tool to help students navigate the loss and disruption brought about by the pandemic, conservative groups and lawmakers who have sought to restrict how race and gender are discussed in school have also turned their attention to SEL, arguing that it too can be a vector for discussions about identity and equity.

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