What is Social Emotional Learning?
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.
Why is Social Emotional Learning Important in Schools?
Students are more successful in school and daily life when they:
- Know and can manage themselves
- Understand the perspectives of others and relate effectively with them
- Make sound choices about personal and social decisions
- These social and emotional skills are some of several
- Short-term student outcomes that SEL programs
- Promote (Durlak et al., 2011; Farrington et al., 2012 Sklad et al., 2012).
Other benefits include:
- More positive attitudes toward oneself, others, and tasks including enhanced self-efficacy, confidence,
persistence, empathy, connection and commitment to school, and a sense of purpose
- More positive social behaviors and relationships with peers and adults
- Reduced conduct problems and risk-taking behavior
- Decreased emotional distress
- Improved test scores, grades, and attendance
In the long run, greater social and emotional competence can increase the likelihood of high school graduation, readiness for postsecondary education, career success, positive family and work relationships, better mental health, reduced criminal behavior, and engaged citizenship (e.g., Hawkins, Kosterman, Catalano, Hill, & Abbott, 2008; Jones, Greenberg, & Crowley, 2015).
What Programs Are Being Piloted?
This research-based curriculum features 15 lessons that use the latest information about the brain to dramatically improve behavior and learning for all students.
Each lesson offers easy strategies for helping students focus their attention, improve their self-regulation skills, build resilience to stress, and develop a positive mind-set in both school and life. The lessons fit easily into any schedule and require minimal preparation. Classroom management tips and content-area activities help you extend the benefits of MindUP throughout your day, week, and year.
Second Step provides instruction in social and emotional learning with units on skills for learning, empathy, emotion management, friendship skills, and problem solving. The program contains separate sets of lessons for use in prekindergarten through eighth grade implemented in 22 to 28 weeks each year. Second Step uses four key strategies to reinforce skill development: brain builder games (to build executive function), weekly theme activities, reinforcing activities, and home links. Teachers are encouraged to give children daily opportunities to practice.