What can I do to support SEL in children and young people?
Children and young people’s SEL skills are developing all the time.
Skills may develop differently and at varying rates for different individuals. Children and young people benefit from having ongoing learning opportunities. It can be helpful to plan dedicated time each week or fortnight to develop SEL skills.
There are many ways you can support children and young people in developing SEL skills.
This could include planned activities across the early learning service or school, or activities within specific learning environments, as well as making the most of informal learning opportunities during unplanned activities and conversations. Approaches may include a combination of:
- universal approaches that are planned and target the whole service or school (for example, organised play activities and intentionally teaching particular skills, such as cooperation, turn-taking, listening, implementing an evidence-based SEL program at a whole-service/school level, professional development for educators on SEL topics, or implementing mindfulness practice for educators, children and young people)
- targeted approaches that are unplanned and respond to a specific incident or opportunity (for example, helping a child or young person manage their frustration to persist in an activity, or encouraging perspective-taking and recognition of another person’s feelings when discussing an incident that happened).
Be You Professional Learning
Check out content on SEL and teaching for resilience in the Learning Resilience domain.
Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). (2018). Core SEL competencies. Chicago: CASEL. Retrieved from https://casel.org/core-competencies/.
Durlak, J., Weissberg, R., Dymnicki, A., Taylor, R. & Schellinger, K. (2011). The Impact of Enhancing Students’ Social and Emotional Learning: A Meta-analysis of School-based Universal Interventions. Child Development, 82: 1, 405-432.
Goleman, D. (2015). The Future of SEL, in Durlak, J., Domitrovich, C., Weissberg, R. & Gullotta, T. (eds.), Handbook of Social and Emotional Learning (pp. 593–596). New York: Guilford Press.
Humphrey, N. (2013). Social and Emotional Learning: A Critical Appraisal. London: SAGE Publications Limited.
Payton, J., Wardlaw, D., Graczyk, P., Bloodworth, M., Tompsett, C., & Weissberg, R. (2000). Social and emotional learning: A framework for promoting mental health and reducing risk behavior in children and youth. Journal of School Health, 70: 5, 179-185.
Five areas of social and emotional learning
SEL involves developing the ability to understand and manage our emotions, establish positive relationships, develop empathy for others, set and achieve goals and feel good about ourselves.
Last updated: March, 2023