Effective social-emotional learning (SEL) is a transformative and evidence-based educational process that teaches children, from pre-k through 12th grade, the mental skills that will significantly reduce emotional stresses that lead to violence and addiction, improve problem-solving skills, enhance empathy, raise academic test scores and increase resiliency.
SEL serves as an umbrella for many programs and initiative that serve to make youth feel safe and provide a positive learning environment. These include:
- Character Education.
- Service Learning.
- Peer Mediation.
- Bullying Prevention.
- Anger Management.
- Drug/Alcohol Prevention.
- Violence Prevention.
- Ethical-Decision Making.
- Harassment Prevention.
- Positive Behavior Supports.
Sport psychology, positive psychology, cognitive-behavioral psychology are sciences that support the SEL teaching methodology.
The competencies attained by effective social-emotional learning programming include:
- recognizing and managing our emotions;
- developing caring and concern for others;
- establishing positive relationships;
- making responsible decisions; and
- handling challenging situations constructively and ethically.
They, and the skills needed to reach these goals, allow children to calm themselves when angry, make long-lasting friends, resolve conflicts respectfully, and make ethical and safe choices.
SEL is a framework for school improvement by creating and maintaining a caring learning environments. Students learn better in a positive and safe school.
The most beneficial SEL programs are:
- sequential and developmentally appropriate instruction in SEL skills;
- implemented in a coordinated manner, schoolwide, from preschool through high school;
- reinforced in the classroom, during out-of-school activities, and at home;
- giving teachers ongoing professional development in SEL;
- uniting families and schools to work together to promote children’s social, emotional, and academic success.