Social Emotional Learning

What is Social Emotional Learning

What is Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and why schools are adopting the philosophy

Mr. John Engel, principal of Southwest High School in Fort Worth ISD, and one of our most trusted partners in Tarrant County, said it best:

“At an urban high school, there’s a lot happening. There’s so much pressure on academics. Of course educators and administrators want academic performance to be high, but how can academic performance be high if a students’ basic needs and social and emotional needs are so disconnected? I think we really do more harm when we push academic needs on our kids prior to understanding their social and emotional state.”

Social Emotional Learning Definition

According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) website, a thought leader, field builder and advocate helping to make evidence-based social emotional learning (SEL) an integral part of education from preschool through high school, the definition of SEL is:

Social emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

CASEL Social Emotional Learning Framework – Social Emotional Learning Standards

The social emotional learning (SEL) framework is made up of five core competencies:

  1. Self-Awareness

This is the ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior. It is also the ability to accurately assess one’s strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a “growth mindset.”

  1. Self-Management

This is the ability to successfully regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations – effectively managing stress, controlling impulses, and motivating oneself. It is also the ability to set and work toward personal and academic goals.

  1. Social Awareness

This is the ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures. It is the ability to understand social and ethical norms for behavior and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.

  1. Relationship Skills

This is the ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. It is the ability to communicate clearly, listen well, cooperate with others, resist inappropriate social pressure, negotiate conflict constructively, and seek and offer help when needed.

  1. Responsible Decision-Making

This is the ability to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety concerns, and social norms. It is the realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and a consideration of the well-being of oneself and others.

social-and-emotional-learningThe Impact of Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

CASEL states more than two decades of research finds that education promoting social and emotional learning (SEL) gets positive results:

  • Leads to Academic Outcomes and Improved Behaviors
    • Students participating in SEL programs showed improved classroom behavior, and increase ability to manage stress and depression, and better attitudes about themselves, others and school
  • Multiple Benefits for Students
    • 57 percent more students in schools with an SEL program improved their skills compared to students in schools without and SEL program
    • 27 percent of students improved their academic performance and 24 percent more improved their emotional well-being and social behavior
  • Improves Lifetime Outcomes
    • SEL decreased the likelihood of living in or being one a waiting list for public housing, receiving public assistance, having any involvement with police before adulthood, and ever spending time in a detention facility

Just Say YES Social Emotional Learning Programs

At Just Say YES, our philosophy is, “A connected student is a protected student.” Since our founding in 2002, we have made it our mission to create life-changing connections with students of all ages, backgrounds and circumstances in order to help them achieve better and brighter futures. We do this by providing social and emotional learning opportunities via three-types of programming:

  1. Dynamic School Assemblies
  2. Peer-to-Peer Mentoring
  3. Adult Influence Education (professional development and parent programs)

Over 1 million students, educators and parents in the U.S. have been impacted by Just Say YES programming. Together, we can make the impossible, possible for kids in need of positive voices, messages and mentorship!