Why is SEL important for learning?
Research shows that children and young people’s learning is influenced by a range of social and emotional factors.
Children and young people with social and emotional learning skills have better academic outcomes, as well as improved physical health and a better quality of life. How well individuals do in their learning community is affected by things such as how:
- confident they feel about their abilities
- effectively they’re able to manage their own behaviour
- well they can concentrate and organise themselves
- effectively they can solve problems
- positively they can get on with educators and their peers
- effectively they consider others’ needs
- well they can understand and accept responsibilities.
Therefore, SEL and success within the learning community go hand in hand.
How is SEL taught?
Many early learning services and schools already incorporate aspects of SEL.
Be You’s approach is to look at what your learning community is already doing and ask you to evaluate how social and emotional skills are taught. Be You provides a framework for planning, teaching and evaluating, so that, from year to year, children and young people can acquire and consolidate skills that are relevant and appropriate for their age and skill level.
Teaching SEL is no different to teaching numeracy or literacy skills – it needs to be continuous, cumulative and tailored to a child’s age and stage.
Be You Professional Learning
Learn more about SEL 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, NY: 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.
Social and emotional learning
Social and emotional learning (SEL) skills involve 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