What is Social Emotional Learning?
“Social and emotional learning 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, 2022).
Despite the recent rise in SEL curriculum and terminology awareness, SEL is not something new under the sun. It’s been an integral part of God’s creating us in body, mind and spirit and His intent for us to live in community from the beginning.
He replied, “Your must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself. Matthew 22:37-39
Another resource defines SEL as "transforming children's lives by providing vital social and emotional learning programs to reduce stress and aggressive behavior, improve focus and academic performance and increase resiliency for success in school and in life."
Copious research has shown that the impact of social-emotional learning (SEL) runs deep. SEL programs are shown to increase academic achievement and positive social interactions, and decrease negative outcomes later in life. SEL helps individuals develop competencies that last a lifetime.
Students who receive social-emotional interventions early and throughout their learning careers demonstrate impressive and measurable benefits later on in life. The research is hard to ignore: The development of social-emotional skills in kindergarten leads to the higher likelihood of obtaining a college degree, adult employment, and lessens one’s chance of substance abuse or getting into trouble with the law as an adult (Jones, Greenberg, & Crowley, 2015). A Teachers College Study showed that, on average, for every dollar invested in SEL, there is a return of eleven dollars — a return on investment most investors would envy.