With the rise of digital technology and social media—along with a renewed focus on mental health, behavioral outcomes, and classroom climate—social-emotional learning is in the spotlight for K–12 educators. But what is social-emotional learning (SEL), and why is addressing SEL in schools so essential in the 21st century?
Defining Social-Emotional Learning
To start, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) defines SEL as:
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.
SEL is made up of five core competencies, according to CASEL. (Check out this Shaped blog post to learn more about each.)
- Responsible decision-making
- Relationship skills
- Social awareness
“Children are coming to school with increasing social and emotional issues,” said Dr. Bill Daggett, founder of the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE), during a recent keynote address at the 2019 Model Schools Conference. “The high-performing schools have said, ‘Time out. Let’s spend our time thinking deeply about these kids in 2019 and how we have to change our teaching methodology and strategies to keep up with this younger generation.’”
You can watch the video below to learn about Dr. Daggett’s thoughts on SEL in schools below.
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