Double Lens for Understanding SEL


IFSEL's approach aligns with CASEL's SEL Framework, with experiential learning at the heart of our work. SEL needs to be alive in school communities, integrated into school-wide systems, not just a lesson brought out once a week. The depth of our insights, help teachers develop a range of skills not articulated elsewhere in school communities.

These skills include how to— 

  • Conduct classes in ways that build capacity for personal reflection, meaningful conversation, ritual and group harmony.
  • Use silence, creative expression, listening and cooperation to activate SEL in all subject areas.
  • Use SEL principles to facilitate more powerful academic curriculum design.
  • Exploit the link between literary themes, creative writing, storytelling and SEL skills.
  • Facilitate use of clarification, support and proposed solutions in conversation to unlock the power of collective wondering.
  • Work with values to build teacher resilience, humanity and creativity.
  • Model the resilience, compassion and inspiration at the heart of SEL.

Guiding Principles

  • 1.   Social and emotional wellbeing is a human right – and it is essential for human flourishing, positive relationships and fulfilling our collective potential. Student, teacher and community social and emotional wellbeing are reciprocal and symbiotic.
  • 2.   Teacher creativity is a keystone for effective social and emotional learning. It transforms and renews – yet we know it can be undervalued and under-nurtured in schools.
  • 3.   The ‘how’ to bring SEL alive is as important as the ‘what’. There is no ‘right way’ to do SEL. It comes alive through our personal and collective autonomy and wisdom, intertwined with our own cultures.
  • 4.   Social and emotional learning is not a panacea for all the problems faced in our schools. It does however have many direct positive outcomes for young people and acts as a multiplier for many other innovative practices in education.

Our Commitment

In addition to being teachers of SEL, we are students of SEL. IFSEL was founded by experienced teachers, counselors and researchers who are committed to supporting and nurturing social and emotional learning in students and educators alike. Our work is informed and inspired by many years of classroom practice, along with the latest research and evidence on SEL, psychology and learning.

325 Sharon Park Dr., Suite 845
Menlo Park, CA 94025