Social Emotional Learning in the Classroom

Social and Emotional Learning in the Classroom: Promoting Mental Health and Academic Success

K.W. Merrel & B.A. Gueldner


This book manages to strike a balance between the theoretical and practical aspects of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). It is especially useful for us educational psychologists who are eager to find meaningful ways to help children with learning difficulties such as ADHD and autism.


Merrel and Gueldner joined a collection devoted to SEL. What distinguishes this book is that it bridges the gap between a fairly academic treatment of the various aspects of SEL and the more functional how-to/ top-tips style guide.


There are eight chapters dealing with: what is SEL?; a review of SEL curricula developed in the USA: preparing and delivering SEL; using SEL to foster academic learning; SEL across cultures; links to mental health services when SEL is not enough; assessment and evaluation strategies; and finally, planning for whole school change and adoption of SEL. At the end of each chapter are a number of vignettes that illustrate the points made and suggest further reflection.


The book would be an ideal tool for teachers and other practitioners who want to understand the programmes they are using to promote SEL, adapt existing programmes in order that they are tailored to their own particular context, or develop custom-made programmes for SEL. It provides a theoretically driven overview of the area and then explores specific aspects of programme implementation. For those practitioners working outside the USA there is a need to de-contextualize the information for use in non-US settings.