Social, Emotional, and Ethical (SEE) Learning Framework

The Social, Emotional and Ethical (SEE) Learning Framework is an educational framework for compassion-based ethics designed to guide the development and implementation of social, emotional, and ethical learning programs for K-12 and higher education. The SEE Framework is developed by the Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics (CCSCBE), a research center at Emory University that supports a research-based approach to educating both the heart and mind, in collaboration with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The framework builds upon the organizing principles of traditional social and emotional learning (SEL) while incorporating the additional components of attention training, compassion and ethical discernment, resilience and trauma-informed practice, and systems thinking. The SEE Framework focuses on the values and competencies developed through SEE Learning that enable students to act in ways that are considerate, informed, and responsible and contribute to their own and others' long-term wellbeing.

View All Term Definitions

Social, Emotional, and…component: attention and…component: self-compassion…component: self-regulation…component: interpersonal…component: compassion for…component: relationship…component: appreciating…component: recognizing…component: community and…attending to our body and…attending to emotions and…map of the mindunderstanding emotions in…self-acceptancebalancing the bodycognitive and impulse…navigating emotionsattending to our social…attending to our shared…appreciating diversity and…understanding others’…appreciating and…appreciating and…empathic listeningskillful communicationhelping othersconflict transformationunderstanding…individuals within a…appreciating the…appreciating how systems…exploring one’s potential…engaging in communal and…

Breakdown by Domain

Domain Key


Key Features

Context & Culture

  • Intended to serve as a broad master framework that can be used internationally and tailored to fit various ages, contexts, cultures, and student needs and abilities, and offers examples of how to modify learning materials to enhance cultural relevancy and authenticity
  • Embraces and describes the concept of "secular ethics," an inclusive and non-sectarian approach to universal ethics compatible with any, or no, religious tradition, and cautions against using SEE education to promote a moral agenda or supersede family or cultural values
  • Notes that SEE Learning programs work best when they complement family and community efforts and values and provides strategies to involve parents in SEE learning
  • Discusses the importance of compassionate learning environments and trauma-informed practices, including outlining the principles of a compassionate classroom and providing specific examples of trauma-informed strategies that support and build various framework components
  • Calls for an emphasis on student self-determination and personal experience in SEE efforts rather than a prescriptive approach to what is right or wrong

Developmental Perspective

  • Notes that the three skill dimensions (awareness, compassion, engagement) are interrelated and best understood and developed in tandem, and that some components build and depend upon others, including some specific examples
  • No learning progression provided

Associated Outcomes

  • Cites health outcomes related to various framework components, including social interconnectedness and helping behaviors

Available Resources

Support Materials

  • Offers free online access to SEE LearningTM curriculum guides for early elementary, late elementary, and middle school, an online educator preparation course (SEE 101), sample chapters, suggested activities, and educator video interviews

Programs & Strategies

  • Notes that SEE Learning can complement SEL efforts or stand on its own
  • Outlines a detailed pedagogical model for SEE Learning programs
  • Provides broad learning goals and higher-order, observable learning outcomes (enduring capabilities) that describe what students should be able to do better across each of the three dimensions and 9 components over the course of their life as a result of SEE
  • Offers online playbook of one-minute reflection practices
  • Offers the SEE LearningTM program, a K-12 SEE curriculum based on the framework that supports student understanding and skills across three age ranges (early elementary: ages 5-7, intermediate: ages 8-10, and middle school: ages 11-13) with a forthcoming high school curriculum for ages 14-18

Measurement Tools

  • Encourages educators to assess their own and their students' learning and growth and provides suggestions for informal assessments, including student self-assessment, class assessment, and educator self-assessment
  • Provides a list of recommended published assessments on the SEE Learning online platform
  • Developer plans to develop scientifically validated tools to measure SEE Learning-specific outcomes

Key Publications

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