Social-Emotional Learning in Secondary Education: Teaching Ohio’s New Social-Emotional Learning Standards in High School Language Arts Curriculum

Many contemporary researchers and educators agree on the need to implement
social-emotional learning (SEL) in modern public education to teach necessary life skills not usually covered in academic instruction. Typically SEL instruction has focused on primary-level students, but research shows that middle and high school students also benefit from SEL instruction in a very meaningful way during the critical period of development these students experience during adolescence. The field of English Language Arts in itself is a venue for simple SEL instruction. Many English Language Arts teachers are already implementing SEL into their curriculum, whether intentionally or unintentionally. The very nature of the field of literature and
the study of it embodies SEL as readers vicariously observe and empathize with the experiences of fictional characters. This creates a unique pathway to SEL instruction through the use of literature that allows for simple intercurricular implementation, requiring few changes to the existing curriculum. This work included a curriculum guide demonstrating this implementation based on the Ohio Department of Education’s new K-12 SEL Standards.