Introduction to the Specialization

In this module we introduce three tensions within SEL, the first of which is the potential use of SEL as a means of managing student behavior. We investigate how behavior management strategies can lead to emotional manipulation, as well as how students of color are disproportionately impacted by these policies. Knowing that SEL programs are often adopted with the aim of improving classroom management and reducing problem behaviors, we explore how this can instead be approached through humanizing structures of management that promote student agency.

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