Jacob on the effects of SEL in schools

May 18, 2023 Hour Detroit

Robin Tepper Jacob, Hour Detroit: “Social-emotional learning involves teaching students about self-awareness, self-management, social skills, and responsible decision-making,” says Robin Tepper Jacob, faculty co-director and founder of the Youth Policy Lab at the University of Michigan. Tepper Jacob has helped lead the lab’s various research projects, including Transforming Research into Action to Improve the Lives of Students — better known as TRAILS. The TRAILS program includes three tiers, which focus on teaching social-emotional learning skills to students at varying levels of need.

Tepper Jacob says the program is practical and easy for teachers to use, adding that SEL programs in general are most successful when the entire school is involved in learning and teaching the skills. This means that when lunch monitors, bus drivers, custodial workers, and other school staff, in addition to the teachers, are involved, students have more productive relationships at school.