Highlights from Schools & Research

Research Across Core Districts

As a member district of the CORE partnership, SFUSD shares resources and ideas, and participates in research with other CORE districts. Read about what SFUSD and partner districts are learning through their work with SEL.

Expanding the Definition of Student Success: A Case Study of the CORE Districts (Bartolino Krachman, Arnold, and LaRocca, 2016): SFUSD is a member of CORE, a collaboration between several of the largest school districts in California in an effort to learn from each other and continuously improve. This case study looks at how members of the CORE consortium have incorporated SEL skills into their formal district evaluation measures for which they were accountable to the state. This case study also details the metrics and process SFUSD used to select its four focus SEL competencies.

Enacting Social-Emotional Learning: Practices and Supports Employed in CORE Districts and Schools (Marsh, McKibben, Hough, Hall, Allbright, Matewos, Siqueira, 2018): This study highlights how SFUSD and other CORE partnership districts are implementing and measuring SEL practices. Based on interviews with teachers, staff, and district and school administrators in districts that have strong data on SEL constructs, the report explores how these practitioners think about SEL, and what tools or practices they have found useful. The report has an accompanying shorter brief and a summary infographic.

General Research on SEL

There is rich academic literature on SEL skills and abilities and their effects of academic and non-academic outcomes. The articles included below highlight why SEL is such a priority for SFUSD and why the district has adopted these practices.

The Impact of Enhancing Students’ Social and Emotional Learning: A Meta‐Analysis of School‐Based Universal Interventions (Durlak, Weissberg, Dymnicki, Taylor, and Schellinger, 2011): This meta-analysis of over 200 studies looks at school-based intervention programs that teach SEL and their effects on SEL skills, attitudes, social behavior, and academic performance. They found a general effect of positive changes in behavior and attitudes, and a sizable increase in academic achievement. Finally, the authors note the characteristics of effective school-based SEL training and suggest that research supports using evidence-based SEL training in schools.

Social-Emotional Competence: An Essential Factor for Promoting Positive Adjustment and Reducing Risk in School Children (Domitrovich, Durlak, Staley, and Weissberg, 2017): In this high-level overview of several SEL meta-analyses, the authors synthesize research that shows why SEL is a critical component of school-based intervention programs: SEL skills are associated with and predict important life outcomes, can be improved, and helps change other behaviors. The authors then make recommendations for implementing SEL curriculum, including suggesting that an active and explicit curriculum, start teaching throughout elementary school, and using an evidence-based program.

Advancing the Science and Practice of Social and Emotional Learning: Looking Back and Moving Forward (Osher, Kidron, Brackett, Dymnicki, Jones, and Weissberg, 2016): Provides a comprehensive look at the history and development of SEL over the last 100 years from the intertwining of disparate problems such as bullying prevention, conflict resolution, character education, and 21st-century skills. They then examine current practices and give recommendations for future policy.


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This page was last updated on May 18, 2022