What is SEL? SEL is an abbreviation for social and emotional learning. It refers to the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to 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 competencies have been shown to be important not only in academic success but also in overall well-being and life satisfaction.
There are many reasons why SEL is important to curriculum planning. Below are ten of the most important ones:
1. SEL can help students learn better.
Research has shown that when social and emotional learning is integrated into the curriculum, students have better academic outcomes including increased grades and test scores, and improved attendance and behavior.
2. SEL can improve social skills.
SEL can help students develop important social skills like empathy, cooperation, and relationship-building. These skills are essential for success in school and in life.
3. SEL can reduce bullying and aggression.
SEL interventions have been shown to reduce bullying and aggression among students by up to 50%. This is an important consideration given the significant impact that bullying can have on a child’s academic performance and overall well-being.
4. SEL can promote prosocial behavior.
Social and emotional learning can help students develop prosocial behaviors like helping, sharing, and caring for others. These behaviors are important for developing positive relationships and contributing to a more cooperative and supportive classroom community.
5. SEL can teach important life skills.
SEL interventions can teach students important life skills like goal-setting, decision-making, and conflict resolution. These skills are essential for success in school and in the workplace.
6. SEL can improve mental health.
Social and emotional learning can help reduce stress and anxiety, and promote positive mental health in general. This is important given the high rates of anxiety and depression among children and adolescents today.
7. SEL can increase empathy.
SEL can help students develop empathy with the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Empathy is an important social skill that helps us develop positive relationships and connect with others.
8. SEL can reduce prejudice and discrimination.
SEL interventions have been shown to reduce prejudice and discrimination against others by up to 50%. This is an important consideration given the negative impact that prejudice and discrimination can have on individuals and society as a whole.
9. SEL can foster community involvement.
Social and emotional learning can help students develop a sense of civic responsibility and an interest in community involvement. This is important for developing active and engaged citizens. For example, SEL can help students understand the importance of voting and become involved in community service projects.
10. SEL can promote global understanding.
SEL can help students develop an understanding of, and respect for, cultural differences. This is important for developing positive relationships with others and promoting peace and harmony in our increasingly globalized world.
These are just some of the many reasons why social and emotional learning is important to curriculum planning. When educators incorporate SEL into the curriculum, they are helping their students develop the skills they need for academic success and overall well-being.