What is Social-Emotional Learning?
Social-emotional learning, often abbreviated to SEL, is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goal, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions [CASEL].
Social-emotional skills have been shown to be critical to the overall development of a student’s life. Destructive behaviors, such as drug abuse, violence, bullying, and deficient performance in school, can be prevented or reduced through a combined effort of effective classroom instruction, engagement in hands-on activities, and parental and community involvement.
is based on the understanding that students learn best within the context of real, enduring relationships that challenge them, engage them, and make them feel comfortable being who they are.
can be separated into five categories of cognitive-behavioral competencies. These categories are:
Self-Awareness: The ability to accurately recognize one’s emotions and thoughts and their influence on behavior. This includes accurately assessing one’s strengths and limitations and possessing a well-grounded sense of confidence and optimism.
Self-Management: The ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations. This includes managing stress, controlling impulses, motivating oneself, and setting and working toward achieving personal and academic goals.
Social Awareness: The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures, to understand social and ethical norms for behavior, and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.
Relationship Skills: The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. This includes communicating clearly, listening actively, cooperating, resisting inappropriate social pressure, negotiating conflict constructively, and seeking and offering help when needed.
Responsible Decision-Making: The ability to make constructive and respectful choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on consideration of ethical standards, safety concerns, social norms, the realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and the well-being of self and others. [CASEL]