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.
SEL advances educational equity and excellence through authentic school-family-community partnerships to establish learning environments and experiences that feature trusting and collaborative relationships, rigorous and meaningful curriculum and instruction, and ongoing evaluation. SEL can help address various forms of inequity and empower young people and adults to co-create thriving schools and contribute to safe, healthy, and just communities.
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.