What is Social-Emotional Learning?
Social-Emotional Learning refers to a child’s interpersonal (social) development with others while the emotional aspect relates to the child’s intrapersonal development of self.
The purpose of social-emotional learning is to develop a child’s emotional literacy (EQ) and teach them the skills needed to manage the complexities, demands and pressures of everyday life by developing confidence, resilience and the ability to self-manage, make good choices and build healthy relationships. Research has shown that social-emotional learning contributes significantly to overall health and happiness as well as academic progress.
SEL programmes focus on teaching children the following core competencies:
- Self-management, including:
- Goal-directed behaviour
- Social awareness,
- Relationship skills, including:
- Effective communication
- Conflict resolution
- Responsible decision-making, including
- Personal responsibility
- Decision making
- Optimistic thinking for a positive growth mindset.
Some would argue that there simply isn’t time to teach or coach social skills in a time of intense academic demands and challenges, but research and data world-wide, show that it’s possibly the best investment to make as it reveals significant impact on academics, and offers effective strategies for educators to manage and eliminate negative and disruptive behaviours, like bullying, violence, anxiety, dishonesty and lack of motivation.
“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue and pen, then you have something very special.” Nelson Mandela
How to integrate SEL into your school
These are the most important steps to integrating SEL effectively into your school and classroom:
- Develop a ‘whole-school’ vision that prioritises academic, social and emotional learning.
- Engage in our SACE accredited on-line SEL educator training course to build your own internal, social-emotional capacity and develop learner and classroom management skills and strategies.
- Adopt and implement the COOL TO BE ME broad-based, evidence-based SEL curriculum from grades 1 -7 and involve the learner’s families through the home instruction sections.
- Collaborate with your school counsellor, a social worker of independent SEL specialist to provide additional support and interventions to your families and learners in need.
In order to integrate SEL effectively into your school, all staff must buy into the ethos of whole-child education and engage in CPTD training and the implementation of the CTBM, SEL programme within their grade. In order to enjoy the full range of benefits that SEL can yield in your school and classroom, learners should experience SEL principles and strategies in all aspects of school life.