Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a process in which kids and adults learn how to:

  • Understand
  • Make responsible decisions
  • Create and maintain positive relationships
  • Manage emotions
  • Feel and show empathy for others
  • Set and achieve positive goals

Social Emotional Learning goes beyond a lesson or program; it’s a process that cuts across multiple contexts daily. It concerns the way teaching and learning happen and also what you teach and where you learn.

In the United States, SELcenters on five core competencies. These elements span across different settings including: classrooms, schools, districts, families and the community at large.

The core elements go further to inspire minds, educate hearts, and help students navigate the world when they’re better prepared. The five core competencies include:

  1. Responsible Decision Making: Making logical choices regarding personal behavior and social interactions based on social norms, ethical standards, and safety.
  • Relationship Skills: Listening properly, communicating clearly, cooperating with others, seeking and offering help when required, negotiating constructively, and resisting the urge to fall into inappropriate social pressure.
  • Self-Awareness: Familiarizing yourself with your strengths and limitations, achieving well-grounded optimism, a sense of confidence, and having a growth mindset.
  • Self-Management: Learning effective ways to manage stress, being in control of impulses, motivating self to set and achieve goals.
  • Social Awareness: Learning and understanding the perspectives of other people and empathizing with them; acknowledging and accepting others from diverse cultures and backgrounds.

Creating Learning Environments

Social Emotional Learning is a concept that is deeply ingrained in us. It plays a role in how students and adults interact in the classroom and the outside world.

SEL helps kids access equitable, supportive, and welcoming learning environments. SELis taught in the classroom, and it plays a considerable role in granting tomorrow’s workforce the tools they need to succeed.

As for the teachers, SELbrings about a positive teaching and learning climate that leads to increased academic success.

Students who go through Social Emotional Learning come out better prepared to solve problems, communicate and manage emotions properly.

Jones. Greenberg, & Crowley (2015) found that students who participate in Social Emotional Learning starting early in life and continuing all through their schooling benefit from endless and impressive benefits later in their lives.

In the report, the research conducted shows that social-emotional skills development right from kindergarten leads to students with a higher likelihood of attaining a college degree, and landing well-paying jobs.

It also lowers their chances of getting into trouble with the law or suffering from substance abuse as adults.

A Teachers College Study in 2015 showed that for each dollar that goes into Social Emotional Learning, an equivalent of $11 is collected as return on investment. 

Further,SELpractices come in handy when it comes to reducing and closing the achievement gap. SELplays a fundamental role in damaging the school-to-prison pipeline.

It helps children brought up in poor backgrounds gain critical foundational skills they need to excel in their Higher Education and attain gainful employment.

Moreover,SELcomes with restorative justice programs that help reduce suspensions and keep more kids in school who later turn into worthy members of society.

Social Emotional Learning Benefits

A lot of studies conducted around SEL show how beneficial it is to children and adults. Students that undergo SELprograms demonstrate improved academic progress coupled with improved college and career readiness.

Some of the contributions provided by Social Emotional Learning include better educational outcomes and student well-being as it helps students learn, know, understand and manage emotions when relating to peers and adults, thus reducing conflict levels. They learn how to conduct themselves when socializing with others and learn where to draw a line.

Other benefits attributed to Social Emotional Learning include:

Instructional Time

Numerous research papers state that almost ten minutes of instructional time gets lost in behavior issues in every lesson. It amounts to an equivalent of 30 days lost in a school year.

However, implementing SELprograms in learning institutions has shown a reduction in behavioral issues.

College Ready

As more schools incorporate Social Emotional Learning, they are in return, profiting from higher attendance and experiencing fewer dropouts. Students going through SELprograms improve their academic performance.

SELprograms continue to prove that they’re a better alternative to producing higher academic outcomes as opposed to using various universal interventions.

A collection of 213 studies that evolved around 270,000 students published that learners receivingSELprogramming averaged 11% points higher than students who never went through Social Emotional Learning.

Career Ready

The U.S. Department of Labor published reports indicating that the modern day employer is looking to hire job seekers possessing the following Social Emotional Learning skills:



Listening and communication

Goal setting

Besides, twelve of the sixteen skills identified by the World Economic Forum (W.E.C.) critical for the 21st-century workforce fall under social and emotional skills.

Students who go through SELin their schooling career come out better prepared and have higher chances of gaining employment.

Kids that are fortunate enough to go through significant SELprograms profit from gaining the five core skills mentioned in the top paragraphs of this article.

Gaining the five core skills enables them to prosper both in class and in the outside world.

Ready For The World

Social Emotional Learning contributes to a variety of improved life outcomes. A significant number of studies conducted around SELconclude that students taking part in comprehensive Social Emotional Learning programs exhibit healthier behaviors.

They go on to show that SEL extends to healthier impacts alongside improved in-school behavior, including improved physical health and handling stressful situations more rationally and calmly.

SELhelps students that tended to go towards violent behavior, learn how to harness that energy and direct it somewhere else, such as engaging in physical sports, including football and various martial arts programs.

It goes to show that Social Emotional Learning, when embraced globally and used to offer tiered support, will not only improve students’ overall quality of life but will produce well rounded adults.

They, in turn, focus more on saving the planet and improving things humanity has disregarded or obliterated!