Why Social And Emotional Learning Is Critical Now More Than Ever

Education Technology Insights | Friday, April 01, 2022

SEL can provide young learners with the tools to develop a deeper understanding of themselves, their emotions, and their priceless worth.

FREMONT, CA: The pandemic has wreaked havoc on people of all ages, mainly youth. These difficult circumstances have compelled students to pursue education in wholly new ways, utilizing modern technology.

Youth have been forced to do so while grappling with feelings of isolation and caring for sick family members; others have been impacted by the digital divide, which the pandemic has exacerbated.

As a society, mental health has never been more critical, and children and adolescents must have the tools necessary to navigate these difficulties. However, when Covid-19 radically altered the educational landscape last spring, only 7 percent of educators felt prepared to handle kids' social and emotional needs.

The education sector must embrace and implement social and emotional learning (SEL) in school-based and out-of-school settings.

What does SEL emphasize? For this framework, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has identified five fundamental competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relational skills, and responsible decision-making. Each component has the potential to have a significant impact on youth as they mature and seek their ambitions.

SEL can assist children in better comprehending and identifying their emotions; it can also aid in developing empathy, self-control, and stress management. Additionally, it helps students develop stronger interpersonal interactions and interpersonal skills that will benefit them in school and beyond, enabling them to succeed as adults. A new benefit of explicit SEL training is that it fosters the development of emotional intelligence and agility, which businesses and industries are beginning to recognize as highly desirable worker abilities. SEL is critical for their well-being and future economic potential.

It is never a matter of our youngsters lacking greatness; instead, society fails to create the conditions necessary for all youth to tap into their potential.

SEL is a fantastic platform from which to build. So, what does it look like when establishing the framework in both school and non-school settings?

This may include daily greetings, journaling, or having adults model SEL practices in specific educational settings. It could be through movement, with yoga or dance activities assisting youth reconnecting with themselves. Youth can center themselves and learn more about self-regulation in a tranquil setting by using strategies that guide them via controlled breathing. Alternatively, it might be music: Both singing and instrument playing allow adolescents to express and externalize their feelings. Additionally, SEL typically incorporates art and creative activities that assist adolescents in describing what is going on within.

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