Possibilities and Challenges

Conditions Shaping Educators’ Use of Social-Emotional Learning Indicators
Julie A. Marsh
University of Southern California
Kate Kennedy
University of Southern California


Researchers have amassed considerable evidence on the use of student performance data (e.g., benchmark and standardized state tests) to inform educational improvement, but few have examined the use of nonacademic indicators (e.g., indicators of social and emotional well-being) available to educators, and whether the factors shaping academic data use remain true for these newer types of data. While the field continues to advocate for greater attention to the social–emotional development of students, there remains little guidance on conditions supporting the use of data on these important mindsets, dispositions, beliefs, and behaviors.

This article uses sensemaking theory, prior research on academic data use, and research from a study of “early adopter” California districts to develop a framework for understanding conditions likely to shape educators’ use of social-emotional learning (SEL) indicators to inform practice.

This article was originally published in the Teachers College Record by Teachers College, Columbia University and SAGE Publications.

Suggested citationMarsh, J. A., & Kennedy, K. (2020, January). Possibilities and challenges: Conditions shaping educators’ use of social-emotional learning indicators [Article]. Policy Analysis for California Education.