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"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela

Social and Emotional Learning: An ‘Emerging Profession’

By Carole Hornsby Haynes     January 12, 2022

The sale of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) materials has become a big business – a very big business - that shot up 45 percent in just a year and a half, from $530 million to $765 million in 2021.

Over the past two decades, SEL has evolved and expanded so rapidly that it now is “...the foundation, the heartbeat of the classroom,” according to teacher union’s NEA Global Learning Fellow and teacher, Wendy Turner.

Academic learning has been replaced by SEL as the primary purpose of education with 95 percent of districts reporting that it is being adopted from pre-school through high school. CASEL reports that more and more school districts are reorganizing central offices to create a “systemic” approach to SEL across all grade levels.

In fact, SEL has become such big business that it now is an emerging profession with master and doctoral degree programs available at National University System.Layers and layers of taxpayer funded staffing positions are being created for SEL – on top of the broad array of other public school staffing positions that will not likely be cut:

Director, Executive Director, Specialist, Coordinator, Interventionist, Coach, Teacher, Data Strategist, Instructional Specialist, School Counselor, School Psychologist, Youth Social-Emotional Development Consultant, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Learning Specialist, and Family and Community Engagement Coordinator.

Even as public education system expands SEL, parents are protesting it nationwide. A new documentary – “The Mind Polluters” – delves into SEL, calling it a program for “rewiring brains” while whistle blower teacher, Jennifer McWilliams, calls SEL a “gateway drug to graphic sex ed.” 

SEL is the vehicle being used to implement Critical Race Theory into schools. For more information on the origin and dangers of SEL, read my commentary, "The 'New Fad' Corrupting Our Schoolchildren Is Not So New."


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