The social-emotional health unit in Michigan State’s health curriculum

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This program was developed in 1985 to provide a consistent health education curriculum for all students in the state of Michigan in the United States. Social-emotional health is one of the units; others include health education topics (e.g., nutrition and physical activity; safety; alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs); and personal health and wellness.

The SEL unit focuses on friendship, identifying and understanding feelings, making decisions and solving problems, developing respect, and setting goals. Each unit consists of three parts: instruction, practice, and closure. Strategies for applying learned skills beyond the classroom are also taught.

Research shows that the Michigan curriculum leads to increases in positive social behavior, and decreases in conduct problems for students who have participated in this program. Furthermore, it is recognized by CASEL as a “SELect” program.