Over the past few years the topic of Character Education and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) within the education system has become extremely popular. The reason for this may be tied to the rise in behavioural issues and mental illnesses within today’s youth.
There are significant benefits to incorporating a Social Emotional Learning program within your school for both educators and students. Before we dive into the main benefits, let’s take a look at what SEL is.
What is Social Emotional Learning (SEL)?
CASEL defines SEL as the following: Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.
There are five main competencies to SEL, which include:
- Responsible Decision-Making
- Relationship Skills
- Social Awareness
Three Benefits of SEL
- Fewer Behavioural Problems
A student that has engaged in an SEL program has learned key self-regulation skills. This includes being able to manage their own words, actions and feelings in social situations. For example, a student who can manage their feelings and actions would be able to appropriately voice their concerns rather than acting out by disrespecting or becoming violent to fellow peers and educators.
- Improved Academic Performance
Many skills within an SEL program actually give students the ability to perform better in school. A few of these skills include organization, problem-solving, goal setting, perseverance, time management, working in groups, resilience and much more. All of these skills are critical to a student’s academic performance. Many of the soft skills taught within an SEL program can also be credited for improving academic performance as they help positively change a student’s attitude towards school.
- Positive Effect on Mental Health
An SEL program gives students an opportunity to speak up about mental health issues and concerns. As the student practices the SEL competencies and develops self-regulation skills, their ability to recognize and discuss their feelings, needs, and problems greatly improves. This can help lower the levels of anxiety, depression, and stress that’s very prevalent in today’s youth.
Unsure how to incorporate social emotional learning in your school? The MakeYouThink Life Skills program incorporates a modular approach to twelve key life skills making it easy-to-us and customizable to your school’s specific needs. For more information click here or contact us for additional information.
- “What is SEL.” Accessed March 1, 2020. https://casel.org/what-is-sel/.
- “Core SEL Competencies.” Accessed March 1, 2020. https://casel.org/core-competencies/.
- “15+ Benefits of Social Emotional Learning in the Classroom.” Pathway2Success. Accessed March 1, 2020. https://www.thepathway2success.com/15-benefits-of-social-emotional-learning-in-the-classroom/.