Education, at its core, is the process of gaining and imparting essential knowledge. Initially the goal of education was to help individuals form logical reasoning and judgement, which in turn will form a functional society.
The essence of the term has been lost in recent times as the focus shifted from gaining knowledge to showcasing merit. Parents and teachers pay more attention to the child’s rank rather than active learning.
This is where “Social-Emotional Learning” (SEL), comes into play. SEL is an all rounded approach to ensure student’s mental/emotional wellbeing along with their grades and other learning feats. This program ensures the overall growth of students while actively helping them adapt to a healthier lifestyle.
Understanding Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)
To understand SEL we must take a closer look at its functions. SEL aims at turning students from passive learners to active learners. Which essentially means that students are taught to focus more on the technical aspect of education where they’re encouraged to translate their education into daily life skills, whereas passive learning focuses on consuming information to score better in tests.
A lot of focus is also shifted towards other aspects such as emotional intelligence, which makes students aware of their own emotional state and also look out for others, which in turn helps them to be more empathetic towards other members of society, ensuring harmony in their personal and public relationships. Resulting them to be well rounded human beings.
Also teach students to create a work life balance as education can become extremely evasive and takes up almost all time and energy of the person. This often occurs as a challenge for students. If this strain is taken away the children will have more time to practise applied learning, making education fun, innovative and inclusive.
Students can strengthen their understanding of SEL by outsourcing some of their assignments to professional writers and using the time saved to look more deeply into this subject. Alternatively, diligent students can check out a free sample of an essay before outsourcing their work. This will help students write college papers more efficiently.
The key components of SEL are as follows:-
• Self Awareness- To understand one’s emotions and pinpoint the cause and effects of various emotions.
•Self Management- Holding self accountable for one’s actions and to introspect. Aligning one’s actions to create a healthy surrounding.
• Social Awareness- To be more accepting towards diverse people and their ideologies. Being able to analyse various narratives without any stubborn prejudice.
• Responsible Decision Making- Awareness without action would be a total waste. To be able to identify one’s shortcomings and to be able to work on them ensures improvement.
• Relationship Skills- To respect the emotions of loved ones and to understand intricacies of their life.
The Impact on Wellbeing
1. Emotional Regulation: SEL equips students with the ability to recognize and manage their emotions effectively. This skill is invaluable in coping with stress, anxiety, and other emotional challenges. It helps create a more emotionally stable and resilient individual.
2. Reduced Behavioral Issues: SEL has been linked to decreased behavioral problems such as aggression and bullying. Students who understand and manage their emotions are less likely to engage in disruptive behavior.
3. Improved Mental Health: Teaching emotional intelligence through SEL programs has been shown to reduce the incidence of mental health issues like depression and anxiety among students. It fosters a sense of self-worth and emotional security.
4. Enhanced Empathy: Social awareness, a key component of SEL, encourages students to understand and appreciate the feelings of others. This promotes a more compassionate and empathetic school environment, reducing instances of bullying and peer conflict.
Impact Of Academic Success
The impact of Social-Emotional Learning exists in numbers, here are a few of them :-
• Better Concentration: Students who are emotionally aware and in control are better able to concentrate and focus on their studies. This leads to improved academic performance.
• Problem- Solving skills- As SEL focuses on better decision making skills in students, it can be expected from a student who can take logical and thoughtful actions to eliminate any resistance that occurs in their learning journey.
• Better Learning Environment- Empathetic students who have control over their impulsive and irrational emotions are likely to be accepting toward different people and maintain harmony which ensures inclusive learning.
• Improved Conversation Skills- Self aware students will also be able to understand their own emotions as well as others which makes it easy for them to communicate their feelings with others and make others understand their individual perspective.
Implementation Of Social-Emotional Learning In Schools
Now that we understand the Impact of SEL, it is clear that the Implementation is an extremely crucial part of the process. Given below are the various methods to implement it effectively:-
• Curriculum Integration- SEL should be incorporated gradually into the daily schedule. By introducing minute changes in the curriculum. Introducing the concept all at once can overwhelm the students rather than calming them down.
• Teacher Training- All the teachers must be well equipped, as they are the direct link between students and educational institutions. They should be well qualified to impart the teaching of SEL effectively.
• Parental Involvement- Change starts from within. Parents are the closest to their wards and are the first teachers. Parents should be made well aware of the learning program and work closely towards achieving better understanding of SEL.
• Assessment And Evaluation- Regular and constant tracks should be kept to evaluate the Implementation and effectiveness of the SEL program and necessary steps should be taken if found otherwise.
Social-Emotional Learning is a great initiative that focuses on the wellbeing of students rather than forcing them into the toxic never-ending race of ranks and numbers. It is more than just some random trend and should be implemented in all educational institutions. To raise a generation of happy and satisfied individuals instead of money hungry people who are constantly living in a state of restlessness, we must incorporate SEL in our education system and ensure student’s overall growth.
Also Read: Social Contract Theory
A note about the author – Elaine Bailey
Elaine Bailey is an expert on Social-Emotional Learning. She is a student counselor who mentors students and helps them navigate a demanding academic and rigorous schedule. She is a dedicated author who has a strong enthusiasm for narrative. Identity, resiliency, and the human experience are frequent topics in her writing. She wants to deeply inspire and connect with her readers through her writing. Elaine hopes that her stories will ring true with and move her audience because she believes in the ability of words to transform lives.