What Is Social and Emotional Learning and How Can You Improve It?
Social and Emotional Learning or SEL is the process through which individuals (children and adults alike):
- understand, manage, and control emotions
- feel and embody empathy for others
- set and achieve goals
- build and maintain relationships, and
- make convictions and responsible decisions.
Social and emotional learning can be subdivided into core competencies for transformative learning, which includes:
- social awareness
- relationship skills
- responsible decision-making
These core competencies can be applied to all kinds of life situations, extending beyond classrooms and school communities to homes, and even communities.
Transformative learning can be done through social and emotional learning and instruction and achieved through schoolwide policies and practices, as well as family and community partnerships.
The Core Competencies of Social and Emotional Learning
- Self-awareness – This is one of the most critical core competencies within the social and emotional learning framework. It refers to the ability of a person to accurately recognise their thoughts and emotions as well as the influence of these thoughts and emotions on human behaviour.
Self-awareness involves an accurate assessment of a person’s strengths as well as their limitations, providing them with a grounded sense of optimism and confidence in themselves. It’s all about identifying emotions and recognising strengths, weaknesses, and needs, and in turn, developing a healthy growth mindset.
- Self-management – This is the ability to regulate or control thoughts, emotions, and behaviours through different situations. It involves the effective management of stress along with self-motivation, impulse control, as well as setting and working toward the achievement of academic and personal goals. Self-management is also one of the keys to transformative learning.
- Social awareness – This refers to one’s ability to consider and take others’ perspective and empathise with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. It involves active effort in understanding ethical and social-behavioural norms as well as recognising the role of family, school, as well as community support and resources.
- Relationship skills – This is all about the ability to build and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with different individuals and groups of individuals. It requires clear communication and the ability to listen actively, cooperate, negotiate conflict in a constructive manner, seek and offer help, as well as to resist social pressure.
- Responsible decision-making – This refers to the ability to make respectful and constructive choices when it comes to personal behaviours and social interactions while considering safety concerns, ethical standards, social norms, and a realistic evaluation of the consequences of actions as well as the common good.
These core competencies of social and emotional learning are critical to effective and truly transformative learning.
Benefits of Social and Emotional Learning
Research suggests that social and emotional skills such as empathy toward others, cooperation, and being helpful, make solid foundations of a thriving life. Students that possess strong social and emotional skills get along with their peers more and are likely to finish high school and land a full-time job.
A long-term study that looked into the connection between children’s early social and emotional learning and their overall well-being as adults tracked a group of kindergarten students through their young adulthood.
The study spanned nearly two decades and found that for every point higher the subjects scored on a five-point scale (based on their ability to do certain things such as listening to others and sharing), they were more likely to get a high school diploma (54%), twice as likely to acquire a college degree, and more likely to get a full-time job by the age of 25 (46%).
Other studies have also looked into social and emotional learning and its roles in transformative learning. Early findings show that social and emotional learning can lead to fewer disciplinary incidents, increased school attendance, less emotional distress, and improved grades and test scores.
Social and Emotional Learning at Leaders of Evolution
Custom e-learning and social and emotional learning courses at Leaders of Evolution align with the Australian curriculum for transformative learning, particularly the Self-management, Self-awareness, Social management, and Social awareness elements, and personal and social capability levels 4 and 5 curricula.
These programs are also aligned to state-based curriculums, making them ideal supplements to transformative learning and schools’ custom e-learning programs.
At Leaders of Evolution, you need to choose a course and allow the team to guide you through the step by step preparation toward implementation. They offer several modules on social and emotional learning. They offer these transformative learning programmes and custom e-learning courses to help educational institutions find success in integrating SEL into their current and future curriculum.
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