The conventional teaching methods in schools were only geared towards subject-based learning. The bookish knowledge has never taught kids the great values that are required in education, career, and basically in every phase of one’s life. That is the reason today, more schools are incorporating social-emotional learning programs in their curriculum.
What Is SEL?
Social-emotional learning, also known as SEL, is a process that helps in developing critical interpersonal skills in a person of any age. The term “social-emotional learning” was first coined in 1994 in a Fetzer institute meeting.
It focuses on building skills such as communication, social behavior, and responsible decision-making in students through various custom learning methods. SEL programs help children learn to understand their emotions, develop empathy, set the right goals, and create a positive aura.
What Core Skills Does SEL Comprise?
There is always an ultimate goal attached with a program designed for a specific group of learners. A standard SEL program aims for below core competencies.
Self-awareness can be defined as the ability to recognize one’s emotions, reactions, habits, behaviors, thoughts, strengths, and weaknesses. The skill allows you to learn about yourself. By mastering this skill, you can eventually modify your lifestyle and behavior to achieve goals.
Once you are aware of yourself, you gain the ability to control your thoughts, actions, and emotions in different situations. You learn to manage your reactions and impulses to handle a conflict or difficulty effectively.
Students who have difficulty in completing their assignments due to workload may seek help from essay writers by domyessay and delegate their tasks to manage time effectively. Self-management is the passport to success.
Social awareness indicates the ability to put one’s feet in others’ shoes and empathize with them. Socially aware individuals understand unconventional perspectives and respect other people regardless of diverse backgrounds and cultures.
Relationship skills are essential for better teamwork, personal relationships, and healthy friendships. This personality trait anchors soft skills like active listening, being considerate, cooperation at school and workplace, clear communication, etc.
The ability to calculate risks and the outcome of a decision holds utmost importance in an individual’s success. When this skill is planted from childhood, they become the pioneer of responsible decision-making in life, benefiting everyone around them with their positive approach towards situations.
What Are the Benefits of SEL?
A properly designed SEL program strengthens society as a whole. The traits that are evolved in a kid’s character through SEL improve the way they behave around other people.
- SEL enhances the environment of a class. Students, who respect and help each other, contribute to everyone’s growth.
- With positive surroundings in the classroom, students feel motivated and perform well in their academics.
- Out of the book world, students learn to approach problems with a solution-oriented mindset.
- SEL instills a positive attitude in learners and enables them to behave appropriately in the classroom and beyond.
- It also helps students fight stress and self-doubt. SEL helps them identify negative aspects of their behavior and amend them.
- SEL stays with learners for a long time and helps them make the right decisions in difficult situations through empathy and courage.
- Students who attend SEL programs turn out to be better colleagues at workplaces and excellent performers in a team setup.
- Self-awareness enables them to be firm towards high moral values and encourages them to face challenges with integrity.
- Disagreements do not trigger them. They learn to respect others’ opinions too.
- SEL inculcates perseverance, confidence, and self-regulation in the learners.
How to Approach SEL?
Teaching SEL is a subjective matter. Educators can discover their preferable methods and approaches to create a suitable SEL program for their students or can associate with forums that provide SEL services for classrooms.
The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) professes four elements, denoted by the acronym SAFE, for an ideal SEL approach:
Sequenced: Connected and coordinated activities to foster skills development.
Active: Active forms of learning to help students master new skills and attitudes.
Focused: A component that emphasizes developing personal and social skills.
Explicit: Targeting specific social and emotional skills.
Strategies for Social-Emotional Learning
There are several techniques to incorporate SEL in students’ day-to-day activities. It gives teachers and parents the freedom to experiment with what works best for their students/children.
The most effective activities include:
- Art sessions that relieve stress and enhance self-awareness.
- Classroom jobs can be assigned to each student to build accountability and responsible decision-making.
- Simple mindful activities such as breathing exercises, observation, or you can ask your students to pay attention to their senses and note down what they feel.
- Students’ ability to problem-solving can be developed by giving them hypothetical scenarios and have them solve the challenges.
- Book reading can also be performed in the class to encourage openness to a difference of perceptions.
- Make teams among students and assign artwork or projects to teach them teamwork.
- Discuss cultural and background differences of students in the class to celebrate diversity.
- Encourage kindness in the class and ask students to write 5 things they are grateful for.
You can always incorporate unique and challenging activities to impart maximum benefit from SEL. Social-emotional learning fosters discipline, compassion, and greater values in the learners. These values contribute to building a person’s ultimate character that stays with them for a lifetime.