Social and Emotional Learning
What is SEL?
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire the knowledge, attitudes, skills and behaviors they need to:
- recognize and manage their emotions;
- demonstrate caring and concern for others;
- establish positive relationships;
- make responsible decisions; and
- handle challenging situations constructively.
Quality SEL instruction in which students learn to process, integrate, and selectively apply SEL skills in developmentally, contextually and culturally appropriate ways in conjunction with a safe, caring, participatory and responsive school climate can result in positive outcomes including:
- promotion of mental wellness;
- prevention of mental health issues;
- school connectedness;
- reduction in student absenteeism;
- reduction in suspensions;
- adoption, implementation and institutionalization of new practices;and
- improved academic outcomes.
How Does SEL Work?
Integration of SEL into systems and practices is highly recommended. Integration can occur by:
- examining existing systems and structures to determine how social and emotional learning efforts can be integrated into them;
- embedding SEL instruction into existing curricula;
- taking advantage of teachable moments that occur naturally throughout the day;
- promoting students' feelings of autonomy, relatedness, and competence; and
- providing opportunities for students to practice social and emotional competencies.