Social-emotional learning can address a variety of student needs, expert says
- In an eSchool News article, Dr. Abram Jimenez, vice president of Illuminate Education, urges schools that have been on the fence about social-emotional learning (SEL) to begin incorporating it into their curriculum.
- SEL can help students who are faced with poverty, cyberbullying and trauma in their every day lives to become more engaged and improve academically, and can help improve school safety as a result, he writes.
- The long-term benefits of SEL, he says, include better jobs, increased civic engagement and decreased criminal activity.
Some school districts see social-emotional learning as another thing to teach, placing more responsibility on teachers and administrators who are already overwhelmed with the need to raise academic outcomes. However, SEL is more of an approach to learning and can easily be embedded across the curriculum to facilitate collaboration, teamwork, and respect for the ideas of others. It is also easily incorporated into play time when a lack of social and emotional skills is often most evident.
Social emotional skills — or competencies — are of more increasingly important as researchers learn more about the impact adverse childhood experiences. With the increase in technology, students are now exposed to new threats, such as cyberbullying, as well. SEL can help them become more resilient to these challenges and can hopefully teach them how to better treat others in the future. The soft skills developed through SEL can also help better prepare students for future jobs as well.