Can We Trust Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)?

77 Views· 01/26/23

The New Discourses Podcast with James Lindsay, Episode 98

Schools all across the United States and wider Western world are rapidly incorporating Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) into all aspects of the educational experience and environment. Can we trust it? There are excellent reasons why we shouldn't ( Everyone seems to be pushing it, though. Not just our state and federal government, and governments throughout the West and the SEL parent organization, CASEL, but also huge organizations like the World Economic Forum (WEF), United Nations (through UNESCO), the OECD and World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and USAID, among others. Why? In this episode of the New Discourses Podcast, host James Lindsay goes through portions of two documents about Social-Emotional Learning, one from UNESCO ( (about its use in overcoming the cognitive dissonance associated with making education be about achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030) and one from USAID ( (about the need to implement it to advance equity), and makes a strong case that however much you currently trust SEL, you should trust it less. Whatever is going on with SEL, it seems incredibly suspicious! Join him for an unsettling discussion.

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