EL Education

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Program description

EL Education provides lesson-based and organizational approaches to SEL. It includes programming for grades K-8 and demonstrates evidence of effectiveness at grades 6-8. Spanish translations for some materials are available.

Strategies supporting educational equity

EL Education offers strategies for understanding context, working with bias, and youth action projects. This includes guidance for creating student-teacher collaborative advisory groups, a deep focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (specifically, anti-racism), and an emphasis on identifying community needs and creating collective action.

      • Instructional practices
      • Relationship building
      • Positive classroom management
      • SEL generalization
      • Shared agreements
      • Systemic support for SEL
      • Adult SEL
      • Group structures
      • Student supports
      • Service-learning
      • Community partnerships
      • Community volunteer activities
      • Family Intervention Component
      • School Involvement
      • Activities and Resources for Home
    • Onsite in-person training
    • Virtual training
    • Offsite training
    • Train the trainer model
    • Administrator support
    • Coaching
    • Technical assistance
    • Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
    • Online resource library
    • Self-report tools for monitoring implementation
    • Observational tools
    • Tools for measuring student success

Evidence of effectiveness

Results from a quasi-experimental evaluation (unpublished report written in 2013) supported the effectiveness of EL Education for middle school students. This evaluation included 3,016 grade 6 through 8 students enrolled in schools in the US Southeast and Northeast. This evaluation found that students who participated in the program achieved significantly higher standardized test scores in reading compared to students in the control group (outcomes reported one year after baseline while controlling for outcome pretest). Follow effects were observed, more specifically participating students’ reading test scores were significantly higher than control students when assessed two and three years after baseline.
Results from a randomized control trial (RCT) conducted over the 2014-2017 academic years using a cohort model (unpublished report written in 2019) supported the effectiveness of EL Education for middle school students. This evaluation included 12,859 grade 6 through 8 students enrolled in schools nationwide (white =38%, Black = 35%, Latinx = 20%; 60% eligible for FRPL). This evaluation found that students whose teachers received EL Education training demonstrated significantly positive social classroom behaviors compared to students in the control group (outcomes reported 1 year after baseline while controlling for outcome pre-test and a host of relevant covariates). Additionally, receiving the EL Education training had a significant positive impact on teachers’ practices, including ELA instructional practices, as well as strategies that promote student collaboration and higher-order thinking.

  • Evidence shown in grades
    6, 7, 8
    School characteristics
      • Urban
      • Northeast
      • Southeast
    Student characteristics
    • Black / African American
    • Hispanic / Latinx
    • White
    • Low income
    Percentage Low Income
    • Eligible for FRPL: 60%
    Study design type
    • RCT
    Greater than 350 students included in study design type
    • Yes
    Multiple school districts included at study design type
    • Yes
    • Improved academic performance
    • Reduced emotional distress
    • Improved identity development and agency
    • Reduced problem behaviors
    • Improved school climate
    • Improved school connectedness
    • Improved social behaviors
    • Improved teaching practices
    • Improved other SEL skills and attitudes

How does EL Education support SEL implementation across multiple settings?

“EL Education supports both a whole-school transformation model of education and also district-wide implementation of our open-source curriculum. Our framework for character and SEL includes regular collaboration with families. It also connects to the local community through the use of local case studies, fieldwork, community experts, and civic action.”
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