What is Social Emotional Learning?
SEL, or social emotional learning is the process of developing and using social emotional skills. Social emotional skills are the skill sets we use to cope with feelings, set goals, make decisions, solve problems, manage stress, get along with others, feel empathy for others and many more.
People with strong social emotional skills are more resilient and manage daily challenges better, build positive relationships, make informed decisions and lead a happier life. SEL helps children and adults thrive in school and in life. Social emotional skills can be taught and learned from preschool all the way through adulthood. It’s important because we are not born knowing how to manage emotions, solve problems, and get along with others. Social emotional skills have to be developed at the earliest possible age.
The Five Core Competencies
Social emotional learning focuses on developing five key areas:
Self-awareness : identifying emotions, recognizing strengths and needs, developing a growth mindset
Self-management : managing emotions, controlling impulses, setting goals
Social awareness : seeing things from other people’s perspective, showing empathy, appreciating diversity
Relationship skills : communication, cooperation, conflict resolution
Responsible decision making : thinking about the consequences of personal behaviour
The Benefits of Social Emotional Learning
More and more research points to social emotional skills as the foundation of thriving in life. One two-decades-long research studied the connection between kids’ early social emotional skills and their well-being as young adults. It found that for every point higher the kindergartners scored on their early social emotional skills, they were 54% more likely to get a high school diploma, twice as likely to get a college degree in early adulthood, 45% more likely to have a full-time job at the age of 25.
And it does not stop there. Children who participate in social emotional learning are also found to have less emotional distress, fewer disciplinary incidents, do better at school, have growth mindset, more confident and engage in prosocial behaviour.
How And Where To Start?
Stay tuned for our next article, we will be sharing how you can start engaging your child or student in social emotional learning.