Social and Emotional Learning

Unless students are given strategies to regulate their emotions and direct their energies toward learning, it is unlikely that added instructional hours or days will eventuate in corresponding amounts of academic learning (Elias, 2001, p. 131).

Social and emotional learning (SEL) = social and emotional skills can be learned! According to the leading organization on SEL, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), there are 5 areas where we can focus to cultivate resilience:

Self-awareness: Identifying emotions and being aware of your strengths, weaknesses, and values.

Self-management: Being able to manage emotions, thoughts, behaviors, stress to achieve personal goals.

Social awareness: Recognizing other’s perspectives, empathizing, respecting diversity in others, understanding social norms and ethics.

Relationship skills: Communicating, cooperating, negotiating, managing conflict, seeking and receiving support, avoiding harmful social pressure.

Responsible decision-making: Considering ethical, social, safety issues to problem-solve effectively and evaluate one’s decisions.

Research has increasingly shown that SEL can be effective in school settings to improve academic achievement, social and emotional skills, and decrease emotional and behavior problems.

Get involved!

  • Ask school personnel about SEL initiatives in your district. Ask about their strategic plan and how you can get involved!
  • Ask how you can help your child practice SEL strategies at home. When students practice their skills at school and at home, they learn them much better.
  • Learn more about SEL and initiatives.  The CASEL website has an abundance of terrific information.

Want more information? Check out: Social and Emotional Learning in the Classroom: Promoting Mental Health and Academic Success

Reference: Elias, M. (2001). Strategies to infuse social and emotional learning into academics. In J. E. Zins. R. P. Weissberg, M. C. Wang, & H. J. Walberg (Eds.) Building academic success on social and emotional learning: What does the research say? New York: Teachers College Press.