What are the life skills that are most correlated to success? Is it team work, interpersonal skills and self-awareness? Empathy, compassion & diversity? Lots of evidence suggest yes. The vast majority of our day is spent interacting with people and managing conflict. Why then is there little focus on teaching school age children these critical skills?
Historically schools have focused on purely academic topics - math, writing, science. That is, until now. More and more leading schools are spending time learning and teaching Social and Emotional Learning, also known as SEL. What is SEL, you ask? Allow me to explain.
SEL is a term used to capture any learning methods associated with emotional, social, and psychological development. SEL is about the ways we're in relationship with ourselves and others. For children, learning good social skills and emotional maturity helps them tune into their own state of being, allowing them to foster more productive relationships with others.
SEL has been also been found to increase focus in classroom settings. Traditional education has a long history of discipline, rules, and structure. While all these principles are crucial in balanced amounts for learning, there has been a push in recent years to teach in a method that moves away from rigidity and more towards an approach that fosters empathy and compassion. Numerous consultants and companies help schools understand how to teach and model effective SEL strategies.
By teaching SEL we help children better understand themselves, and thus excel in both the classroom and in life. If you're interested in having a conversation about SEL, please contact me below.