“It is important to understand that people’s perspectives, values, thoughts, and ideas are often widely different.”
The world is moving faster than ever before. It seems like there are many choices at any given point, and nobody is equipped to deal with them. This constant influx of information is a leading cause of anxiety and stress among people. This becomes even more prominent in the younger generations children’s minds are just growing. They need to learn the right tools to deal with these emotions; otherwise, their emotional growth as they grow up would be stunted.
Social, emotional learning (SEL) is the thing we need the most right now. Let’s learn what it is all about.
What is SEL?
Social, emotional learning is a set of processes that help people teach knowledge, skills, and attitudes that they need to lead an emotionally healthy life. SEL empowers children and adults to understand and manage their emotions better, feel and exhibit empathy, set positive goals and achieve them, cultivate positive relationships, and go about making responsible decisions. SEL education can be seamlessly integrated into the school curriculum to teach children healthy thought and behavior patterns.
SEL education typically consists of 5 significant parts or pillars that hold up the concept together cohesively. These can also be thought of as the five major skills that would be taught by the teachers. These are-
Self-awareness- As the term suggests, it is an awareness of yourself. It includes awareness of your emotions, drives, values, etc. Self-awareness also shines a light on how thought processes translate into behavior and action. Not just the positives, but it is also important to be aware of the negative. An accurate strength-weakness assessment, for example, would keep a person grounded and motivated. Because it would make the person a lifelong learner.
Self-management- If self-awareness is about knowing and understanding, self-management is about action. Self-management utilizes the information of self to regulate emotions and behaviors. Some prominent examples of self-management would be, controlling anger, delaying gratification, keeping yourself motivated, controlling impulses, managing stress, staying tenacious to achieve goals, etc.
Social awareness- If self-awareness is about what lies within, social awareness is being aware of your surroundings and what’s on the outside. There are billions of people on this earth, and no two are the same. Living in a multicultural world, empathy, and an ability to understand and respect unique perspectives are important. Social awareness is all about this. It also entails an understanding of social norms and societal structures like family, school, and community.
Relationship skills- Maintaining healthy, positive, and supportive relationships are often touted as a key to a happy life. And it is true. This SEL education component focuses on instilling skills in communication, conflict resolution, active listening, seeking help in times of need, etc. Healthy relationships not only help people act according to societal norms but also resist social pressure when inappropriate.
Responsible decision-making- When you are presented with a choice, this component teaches you to make healthy decisions that align with your morals and values. These constructive choices help people adapt to varied environments and make options taking into consideration their own and other people’s well-being. Responsible decision making would take into account moral values, ethical concerns, societal norms, etc.
Importance of SEL education
To adjust well in life, it is important to have a strong foundation of multicultural values. It is important to understand that people’s perspectives, values, thoughts, and ideas are often different. You may not understand everyone, but a shared empathy and respect is necessary to function. It only makes you better. This is why, considering the world at this moment, SEL education is more important than ever.
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