Social-Emotional Learning: What Is SEL and Why SEL Matters

Social-Emotional Learning: What Is SEL and Why SEL Matters

November 16, 2019 9 By Stanley Isaacs


[ music plays ] [ bell rings ]There’s a lot of talk
these days about SEL,
social-emotional learning.But what exactly is it?Social-emotional learning
is the process
of learning social
and emotional skills,
and it’s just as important
as learning reading or math.
This learning process
is most effective
when it begins earlyand continues through
high school.
Social-emotional skills
are essential
for success in school, work,
and life.
With SEL, students learn
to manage
their own emotions
and behaviors,
have empathy and show care
and concern for others,
solve problems effectively,
make responsible decisions,
and maintain healthy
relationships.
Students learn to recognize
what’s happening inside them
and to be aware of
their emotions,
which helps them deal
with strong emotions
and impulsive behaviors.It helps them stop,
take a breath,
and think about a situation
before acting.
Students learn to identifyothers’ emotions
and perspectives,
which helps them empathize
and show compassion,
no matter who they are
or what their background is.
It’s not difficult to imaginehow this is important in the
classroom — and in life!
Students learn to solve
problems in peaceful ways
and communicate assertively
about what they need or want.
This helps them get along
with other students
and get the help they need
from adults.
When students learn to make
responsible decisions
about their lives
and their future,
things can turn out better.Research shows social-emotional
learning makes a difference.
Students who participate in SEL
do better academically,
have improved attitudes
and behaviors,
and act in delinquent
or disruptive ways less often.
In the United States,students with strong
social-emotional competence
are twice as likely to earn
a college degree
and nearly 50% more likely
to graduate from high school
and have a full-time job
by age 25.
Just as important,students who are socially
and emotionally competent
have more friends.This means they’re more likelyto feel connected to school
and do well
and less likely to be left out
or bullied.
Simply put, by participating
in social-emotional learning,
students learn the skills
to succeed
in every facet of school
and the rest of their lives.