Why Teach Social and Emotional Skills?
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.
The short-term goals of SEL programs are to:
- Promote students’ self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness, relationship, and responsible decision-making skills; and
- Improve student attitudes and beliefs about self, others, and school. These, in turn, provide a foundation for better adjustment and academic performance as reflected in more positive social behaviors and peer relationships, fewer conduct problems, less emotional distress, and improved grades and test scores.
(Durlak et al., 2011; Greenberg et al., 2003)