Skip To Main Content

Social Emotional Learning

  • What is Social Emotional Learning?

    Social 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 (CASEL, 2020). SEL advances educational equity and excellence through authentic school-family-community partnerships to establish learning environments and experiences that feature trusting and collaborative relationships, rigorous and meaningful curriculum and instruction, and ongoing evaluation. SEL can help address various forms of inequity and empower young people and adults to co-create thriving schools and contribute to safe, healthy, and just communities. Social emotional learning can be further defined by understanding that we are all social beings, each with our individual emotions. As we interact with others, our words, actions, and other behaviors are in response to the given context. We have thoughts based on these context which causes us to have emotions and then behaviors based on these emotions we feel. This process is called the Cognitive Behavioral Theory (CBT). In turn, our behaviors begin the CBT (thoughts, feelings, and behaviors) in others. It's this cyclical process that is the foundation for interactions. By simply changing one aspect of the context (e.g., the person, setting, time, etc.) this changes our interactions beginning with our thoughts, feelings, and then behaviors. In this respect, social skills and emotions are interwoven in our daily lives. Additionally, we experience emotions apart from others (e.g., when home alone). However, these emotions outside of interactions still include the same process - a given context that produces a thought, which leads to an emotion and then subsequently to behavior (s). 

    Because learning is a social process, schools must teach, utilize, and support social emotional skills in daily routines (Hodson & Hodson, 2018). This document provides school leaders, teachers, and other essential staff with key information, standards, strategies, and teaching resources to implement school-wide SEL.