Social and emotional learning (SEL) is 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. SEL has become a coordinating framework for how educators, families, and communities partner to promote students’ social, emotional, and academic learning. (1)
For a long time private schools have known and implemented the value of social and emotional learning. Which is why they spend more time and money on sports, arts and extra curricular that their state run counterparts.
- Sequenced: connected and coordinated sets of activities to foster skills development
- Active: active forms of learning to help students master new skills
- Focused: emphasis on developing personal and social skills
- Explicit: targeting specific social and emotional skills
Students do better when the:
- Know and can manage themselves
- Understand the perspectives of others and relate effectively with them
- Make sound choices about personal and social decisions
Other benefits include:
- More positive attitudes toward oneself, others, and tasks including enhanced self-efficacy, confidence, persistence, empathy, connection and commitment to school, and a sense of purpose
- More positive social behaviors and relationships with peers and adults
- Reduced conduct problems and risk-taking behavior
- Decreased emotional distress
- Improved test scores, grades, and attendance
The evidence currently available on the programs in the UK is on the whole not yet of sufficient quality to demonstrate impact. This is a sector that has been hard hit by austerity. There are a number of evaluations underway which will begin to address the gap in evidence in the coming years, and that have been published since this review was completed.
The EIF is today setting out key recommendations to ensure social and emotional skills are given the priority they need. They include:
- The establishment of an expert taskforce with government, schools, teachers, other key professional groups, the VCS, business and children and young people involved to set out urgently whichsocial and emotional skills should be prioritised and how to measure them within and outside schools.
- The development of social and emotional learning should be built into teachers’ initial training and continuing professional development.
- Character and social and emotional learning should have cross-government leadership and responsibility, including not only the Department for Education, but also Health, Business, Innovation and Skills, the Department of Work and Pensions, the Home Office and the Cabinet Office, which leads on youth policy. (3)
Learning rooted in core competencies of emotional intelligence:
– Social Awareness
– Responsible Decision Making
– Relationship Skills