Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and its importance

  • Mittlearn
  • November 16, 2022

Schools are the first place where children encounter people from diverse backgrounds. Students might need to interact with each other in such a multi-cultural environment. Communicating in such an environment requires students to show empathy and understand others’ thoughts. Also, students undergo many emotions they fail to understand and control. This is where social and emotional learning comes into play.

What is this social and emotional learning?

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is a process or method that facilitates students to obtain social and emotional skills. SEL allows the students to be aware of their emotions and exhibit control over their emotions. Students of all ages could use this method.

Why is social and emotional learning important?

Anything important has numerous benefits. Similarly, social and emotional learning is important because of the numerous benefits associated with this learning. Some benefits of social and emotional learning for students are highlighted below.

Improves performance

Students could improve their academic performance by attending social and emotional learning programs. A study identified that social and emotional learning improves students’ performance by 11%.

Reduces stress and depression

SEL helps the students to be aware of their emotions and understand the implications of their emotions as well. This gives the students control over their emotions, and they become aware of the factors that stress them, enabling them to cope with stress and depression.

Enhances prosocial behaviour

SEL helps the students to show empathy towards others where they learn to show concern and care for others. They also develop the behaviour of sharing and showing kindness to others. This is because SEL helps improve social awareness or in layman terms, the students can understand the emotions of others.

Emotional intelligence

Engaging and fun SEL programs or initiatives help the students to improve emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence also helps students to develop effective relationships with adults and other students. Also, this improved emotional intelligence is that which helps in improving empathy in students.

Enhances the behaviour

Students participating in SEL are less disruptive and aggressive in school. Research shows that SEL helps students overcome behavioural and psychological issues even in their adulthood.

Improves mental health

Mental wellbeing is important for students. SEL initiative or program allows the students to express their needs, thoughts and feelings. This would help the school provide strategies to help the students improve their mental health.

Social and emotional learning in schools is important for enhancing the student’s skills and competencies. Moreover, social and emotional learning programs implemented in schools make a difference and bring about changes in students.  Emotional and social well-being plays a vital role in improving students’ success in academics and life. Including SEL in the schools and developing the emotional and social competence of students at an early age will help the students improve their performance. Schools could play a vital role by integrating SEL into their learning system to create a brighter future for their students.