Relationships for Learning hero image

Relationships for Learning

The foundation of social and emotional learning

Create connections that matter

How can we effectively prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s world? A growing body of research indicates educators should aim to meets the needs of the whole child by integrating academic, cognitive, social, and emotional instruction.

According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), “Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”

What’s at the heart of social-emotional learning? Relationships! To prepare students for success now and in the future, we’re committed to ensuring that every learner develops positive SEL competencies and relationship skills.

Roof with flag graphic

Foster whole-child growth

Positive relationships form a supportive foundation for SEL competencies that contribute to whole-child development.

Progress bar graphic

Improve academic achievement

Strong social and emotional competencies can boost academic achievement and help students in and out of the classroom. 

Check graphic

Prepare tomorrow’s workforce

Integrating social and emotional competencies into daily activities translates to future-ready students.

Build supportive, reciprocal relationships to bolster SEL

Positive Relationships Are the Key
By laying the groundwork for the development of social and emotional competencies, positive relationships help students thrive.

SEL Skills Put Students on the Right Path
Students need stronger SEL competencies to prepare for a workplace and society being restructured by advancing technology.

Sharing SEL Responsibility Benefits Everyone
When educators collectively integrate the development of SEL competencies into the learning culture of their classrooms, schools, and districts, everyone wins. 

922882 Sel Build Supportive 1

Social Emotional Learning—The Crisis in Our Schools and the Movement to Address It

Hear the social-emotional challenges our students are facing and what the experts are saying about classroom strategies that empower students to learn emotional, cognitive, and interpersonal skills.

“A growing number of children come to school with SEL challenges, and the workplace and society demand higher-order SEL. To address this, we’re finding, validating, and sharing the nation’s most successful practices.”

Dr. Bill Daggett

Founder, International Center for Leadership in Education

Discover how we’re leading the charge with SEL and relationships.

Rigor, Relevance, & Relationships

Focus on relationships to deliver rigor and relevance

See how these critical components of learning work together to empower educators and students. 

Teacher and student
  • How Are Rigor, Relevance, & Relationships Connected?
  • Positive relationships make relevance possible. In turn, relevance makes rigor possible—and rigor creates the possibility of success in school and life. 

    Take a closer look at the Rigor/Relevance Framework.

IcleRn R 1
  • What Is the Role of Relationships?
  • When treated as essential to higher-level learning, relationships empower students to learn emotional, cognitive, and interpersonal skills.


Research & Resources

See the research base and resources that spotlight the need for positive relationships

Visit the Harvard University EASEL Lab “Explore SEL” page for additional information.

Two teachers talking

Download our ebook for insights and advice related to shaping students' social and emotional well-being.

How SEL Works

  • Developmental growth and change occur over time, in conjunction with age-appropriate development.
  • Executive function and self-regulation form the basis of SEL competency development.
  • Cognitive, emotional, and social development occur in context as opposed to in isolation.
Students talking

Explore SEL Kernels

  • Teachers can use specific strategies known as SEL Kernels when teaching SEL skills. For example, teachers might encourage students to use peer-to-peer written praise.
  • Easy to use, adapt, and integrate, Kernels make it easier to implement SEL in any learning environment.
  • In 2019, a research base is being established to support the use of SEL Kernels as targeted, low-cost approaches to social and emotional learning.
Two teachers talking

Partner with Us

See a snapshot of who we are and what we offer as your partner in SEL

Each teacher, leader, school, and district has specific strengths and challenges. We’re here to help you build positive relationships and SEL competencies designed to elevate student outcomes. Together, we’ll create targeted, customized solutions that take you from where you are now to where you want to be—and beyond!

Two teachers

What We Offer

To ensure your successful development of positive relationships and SEL competencies, our team will deliver
a comprehensive toolkit of guidance, facts, research, implementation strategies, and more.

Choose from in-person, online, and blended professional learning to best meet your school or district’s needs. See what you can expect! 

Our Team Leaders

922882 Sel Stephanie Jones

Director of the Ecological Approaches to Social-Emotional Learning (EASEL) Lab and Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Let’s work together to strengthen SEL in your school or district.