Skip to main content

NEPC Review: The Unexamined Rise of Therapeutic Education: How Social-Emotional Learning Extends K-12 Education’s Reach into Students’ Lives and Expands Teachers’ Roles (American Enterprise Institute, October 2021)

A report contends that the rise in Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) has led schools to assume powers and responsibilities beyond their core mission of focusing on academic skills, and it claims that teachers are unprepared to take on “therapeutic” responsibilities. In reaching these conclusions, however, the report ignores the empirical evidence documenting the positive influence that SEL has on students’ well-being, academic achievement, and sense of citizenship. Relying instead on a misrepresentation of SEL, the result is a one-sided discussion that does not make an evidence-based contribution and thus is not useful for informing policies.

Document Reviewed: