Social and emotional learning (SEL) has quickly become a cornerstone of K-12 education, because it helps students regulate their own emotions and teaches them to respond kindly to their peers.

SEL helps students build intrapersonal and interpersonal competencies. When students cultivate important social and emotional skills, such as self-management and social awareness, they can improve their success along with the school climate.

SEL focuses on five core competencies: self-awareness to help students recognize emotions, thoughts, and behaviors; self-management to help students successfully regulate emotions, thoughts, and behaviors; social awareness to help students take the perspective of others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures; relationship skills to help students establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse people and groups; and responsible decision-making to help students make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions.

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Research shows that school leaders believe SEL is a huge benefit to students. In fact, 98 percent of principals in a recent survey said they believe students from all backgrounds would benefit from learning social and emotional skills in schools.

Those principals said SEL can help improve school culture (99 percent), help students grow to become good citizens as adults (98 percent), improve student-teacher relationships (98 percent), and decrease bullying (96 percent).

About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura


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