Why It Matters: Social Emotional Learning (SEL) And Social Emotional Learning Curriculum

The development of self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills essential for school success, work, and life is defined as Social Emotional Learning (SEL). Schools can highly benefit in implementing into their academic program a Social Emotional Learning curriculum.

People with high social-emotional abilities are good at dealing with daily difficulties and are successful academically, professionally, and socially. Having a Social Emotional Learning curriculum builds an excellent foundation for positive and long-term effects in problem-solving, self-discipline, impulsive behavior control, emotions management, and much more. Not only is SEL beneficial for kids, but also adults and the whole community.

Children succeed, schools and workplaces benefit from it, and society is further strengthened – all attributable to Social Emotional Learning.

Enriching the Lives of Children Through Social Emotional Learning Curriculum

There is no right time than now for our education system to incorporate social and emotional learning curriculum. Today, children are bombarded with all kinds of information and circumstances that evoke an emotional response even at a young age. These circumstances can be triggered by the media or by other people. Social media can indeed be viewed as a positive or negative trigger. 

As technology advances, so does the speed at which information spreads to different people. Fortunately, the social emotional learning curriculum already provides with it the skills needed to teach children how to handle and communicate their emotions appropriately. Furthermore, it can help to keep children safe in potentially dangerous circumstances. 

The Social Emotional Learning curriculum helps improve learning in two ways: 

First, SEL guides children in younger age groups to concentrate more on instructions and less about the social conditions in a classroom, at home, and in any other social environment.

Second, children who have been exposed to the Social Emotional Learning curriculum and effective educators can further make significant academic performance improvements.

Relationships, particularly with nurturing adults, can positively influence the academic performance of a child. When children feel and gain support from their family and school, they become much more responsive and communicative, contributing to better academic and executive growth. An effective Social Emotional Learning curriculum is particularly crucial within the family because it helps strengthen relationships and helps keep children safe and secure.

Several individuals are taking for granted the SEL curriculum and believe that children can just learn skills like these at home. Furthermore, the Social Emotional Learning curriculum’s application and scope are often perceived as daunting or troublesome. However, considering that the SEL curriculum is already integrated with the standard-based teaching in several districts and states, we can boldly say that educational institutions are now stepping up and are starting to take on the responsibility.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Curriculum in the 21st century

The elements that constitute an optimal Social Emotional Learning curriculum seamlessly match the Skills Model of the 21st century, which identifies the most critical skills children need to excel in school and modern workplace environments. Collaboration is the most significant skill amongst them all.

An effective social and emotional learning helps improve the ability to manage diverse situations in life and work. It also encourages young children to develop sufficient career and life abilities, such as:

  • Versatility 
  • Ability to adapt
  • Initiative
  • Self-direction
  • Accountability
  • Leadership
  • Sense of Responsibility

In essence, SEL significantly improves academic performance, exam results, graduation rates, and general wellbeing. Government officials should advocate for incorporating the Social Emotional Learning curriculum as a valuable part of its education system as more and more studies support and offer sufficient evidence of SEL’s effectiveness.

Social Emotional Learning Curriculum: Who Can Benefit?

Studies show a correlation between skills provided in SEL curriculums and positive behavior, better health choices in life, and educational success. But it is not just children or young learners who benefit from SEL.

Below are the ones who can greatly benefit from the Social Emotional Learning curriculum:

Students and Educational Institutions

Social Emotional Learning curriculum helps establish a foundation that facilitates students’ success both in their personal and academic lives. As children improve their social-emotional skills, they are more likely to learn better and foster a healthy and productive school atmosphere.

All learners need and will significantly benefit from social and emotional learning. There is not enough instruction in schools to help children find out how to make life work. Most schools emphasize teaching children how to read and write; they stress too much with science and mathematics.

When learning institutions teach young children about social emotional learning skills, it can undoubtedly have a significant and beneficial impact on their lives. There are various data and research that can duly prove it. A recent school-based study was conducted that involved over 270,000 students, and it found out that SEL participants, compared to control, showed substantially improved behavior, better attitudes, enhanced social-emotional capabilities, and comparatively better academic performance. On the other hand, another report showed that over 60% of academic deficiencies and more than 60% of disciplinary concerns come mainly from the freshman class. These were children who were just getting to terms with a new world of education, children who needed a lot of support and guidance.

This is precisely the reason why Social Emotional Learning curriculums should make their way and be integrated into classrooms and academic settings. Everybody would benefit from making them an integral part of the overall academic program. The outcomes have been quite remarkable, so far, when taking into account the schools that have integrated SEL into their educational system.

Colleagues and the Workplace

SEL curriculums teach communication, how to get along with other persons, problem-solving, and assertiveness. Such skills are essential to help individuals and organizations develop safe, respectful, and productive working environments where everybody can flourish.

Society

From childhood to adulthood, SEL offers all the necessary tools to develop a loving and healthy relationship, handle strong emotions, and show empathy. Furthermore, public health and safety will improve, too.

The Take-away

By implementing Social Emotional Learning curriculum, teaching with full compassion and concern, and ensuring that every child student is equipped with the fundamentals necessary to understand and control emotions, schools and educators can help learners prepare for the real world.