NASW Press- Call for Papers: SEL and Contemporary Challenges for Schools

University of Illinois School of Social Work Editors: Kevin Tan, Brenda Lindsey, Kate Wegmann, Tara Powell and Janet Carter-Black

Attention to social-emotional learning (SEL) has never been more essential for today’s schools. The COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement call for us to respond in relevant and better ways to educate our students. The recent public appeal to defund the police and invest in social workers and social programs provides us an opportunity to re-imagine our outreach and work in society, including schools. To date, most research on SEL has been on best practices and programs that foster individual skills and competencies. More attention is needed to further what we know about initiating changes at the broader system level that are both sustainable and culturally affirming.

For this special issue, we seek manuscripts that showcase SEL as a response to school challenge related to contemporary societal issues, and in one or both of the following strands: (1) SEL at the district or school level and its interlinkages with families, institutions, and communities; and (2) SEL with an emphasis on cultural humility and the intersectionality of our multiple identities involving power, class, and privilege. Manuscripts may be submitted as full length articles (20 pages), Practice Highlights (6 pages), or As Readers See It columns (2 pages). All inquiries should be be directed to Dr. Kevin Tan (

The deadline for manuscript submission is January 31, 2021. To prepare your manuscript in proper format for submission, please see Writing for the NASW Press:

Information for Authors:

Please submit manuscript through the online submission portal at:

Initial, onetime registration is required. Indicate that your submission is intended for the SEL special issue.

Article Specs:

Full-length articles (20-pages):

  • Empirical outcome studies
  • Theoretical/conceptual frameworks
  • Literature reviews
  • Meta-analysis
  • Others

Practice Highlights (6-pages): We are looking to feature school-based practices involving culturally affirming and/or sustainable system-level work. Articles may also feature Adult SEL, SEL and Mental Health, and SEL in a distance-learning format.

As Readers See it (2-pages): We are particularly interested in short columns and commentaries highlighting the direct voices of young people, parents, educators, school staff, and community partners.

About the Editors:

Kevin Tan: examines developmental patterns of student social-emotional learning (SEL), and the role of teachers in promoting SEL.

Brenda Lindsey: focuses on the role of school social workers and Response to Intervention (RtI) with a special emphasis on evidence-based practice interventions for children with challenging problem behaviors.

Kate Wegmann: conducts school-based social work research focused on social and environmental barriers to mental health, academic achievement, and well-being.

Tara Powell: focuses on trauma recovery and resilience in children, youth and care providers. She is studying on the impact of the school-based curriculum and has a concurrent research project examining the experiences of care providers who are providing services to children on the border.

Janet Carter-Black: research interests include resilience in African American families, focusing on parenting strategies that facilitate healthy development and success trajectories for children despite external structural forces, particularly racism and discriminatory practices.