Social Emotional Learning is the vehicle that drives human interaction, paving the way for the achievement of goals, and bringing unity to all human races.
Growing up, we thought that performing excellently in our academics was the major skill we needed to navigate this journey called life. Little did we know what awaited us on the other side of the door.
Social Emotional Learning was on the other side of the door. Rearing her head in to show us just how important she is. Shoving the door in her face was no option. She was there and everywhere.
Social Emotional Learning refers to the ability to develop self-management, self-awareness and interpersonal skills that are beneficial to succeed in all spheres of life.
These learned behaviours help children to develop qualities that will help them to build and maintain friendships. Just like its name, Social – focuses on human interaction and emotional – focuses on the different feelings man has to go through in different stages of life.
Hence, the need for Social-Emotional Learning.
The CASEL Framework
In the 1960s, Dr. James Comer and his colleagues at Yale University organized a program targeted towards helping children tackle behavioural and academic performance. After the success of this program, other educators and researchers developed a social development program focusing on helping the students in grade classes.
Over two decades later, a group of researchers, and educators came together to develop an all-around program to oversee the social and emotional needs of a child. Including areas not previously looked at by prior researchers.
This led to the development of the CASEL framework and Social Emotional Learning. The CASEL framework means Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning and it focuses on the following five aspects
Self-management entails the ability of a person to manage emotions, decisions, actions and everything concerning their life. It also involves making the right plans while achieving their goals.
How do you react to people? How do you react to specific situations? How do you react when the chips are down? Self-awareness focuses on this and the ability of an individual to know everything about themselves.
3. Relationship skills
No man is an island. We all need relationships with people in several ways and capacities, in our workplace, school and family life while navigating the intricacies of conflict resolution.
4. Social awareness
Social awareness helps you to co-exist with individuals from different races and ethnic groups. Knowing when to be empathetic, compassionate and caring towards others.
5. Making trustworthy decisions
Decisions will be made all through our stay on planet Earth and in different stages of our lives. Coming to terms with this and developing the needed skills to make the best decisions for ourselves is a must.
Importance of Social-Emotional Learning
Social Emotional learning helps children in the following ways
1. Better academic performance
Social Emotional Learning helps kids to develop the needed skills to equip them academically like teamwork, confidence, organization and making trustworthy decisions.
2. Manage emotional stress
We encounter emotional stress at different stages of our lives. Equipping ourselves with SEL helps us to carry out effective self-management to know how to manage emotional stress.
3. Increase confidence
As a person, you need a level of self-confidence to scale through life. From preschool to high school to university and social emotional learning helps you to increase your confidence by making use of self-awareness.
4. Easier navigation of adulthood
Adulthood can be overwhelming if it’s not properly planned for or taken seriously. Incorporating the five components of social-emotional learning gives you a push in the right direction to coming out victorious during these stages.
We solve problems every day in life; from deciding what to eat for breakfast to providing the best ideas for that business deal to push through. SEL helps us to combine self-awareness, social awareness and self-management to solve everyday problems.
Life has taught us that IQ (Intelligent Quotient) is only a fraction of what is needed to excel in life. There is no doubt that Emotional Intelligence has a major role to play, paving the way when IQ is nowhere to be found. Social-Emotional Learning helps us to steer the turbulent waters of life and come out victorious.
The earlier these skills are learnt the better for the individual and most life skills are better taught during the younger years of our lives. It is therefore of utmost importance that schools infuse SEL into their curriculum to improve the chances of children not making the same mistakes made by the previous generation.
Researched By: Aduloju Oluwatoyosi Afolabi