Why Does Social-Emotional Learning Play a Pivotal Role for Students?

Social Emotional Learning

22, April 2024

Does excellent academic achievement guarantee a student’s overall development? The question has become increasingly relevant in today’s scenario, where education takes precedence over almost everything.

While high-quality education must be a top priority, it is equally vital to focus on the well-being of the students. Going to world-class institutes with the best facilities would mean little to nothing if it did not foster student's emotional intelligence. Therefore, educational institutes around the world have been emphasizing social-emotional learning.

What is social-emotional learning?

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is an educational concept that enables students to understand their feelings and experience emotions. It also helps them to comprehend others’s feelings, allowing them to respond accordingly.

The objective of this approach is to help students develop empathy and tolerance for other people. Hence, experts often refer to it as a behavioral process that helps students learn and acquire skills and knowledge to set and accomplish positive goals.

Furthermore, it is a unique learning mechanism that helps individuals learn how to process their feelings and establish relationships. Hence, they succeed at collaborating with their peers on school projects and assignments. Whereas, when adults learn SEL, it helps them break the barrier with others and make responsible relationships.

What Is Social Emotional Learning (SEL) And Why It Is Important For Students?

Central Competencies of Social-Emotional Learning

There are five core competencies of social-emotional learning that have been designed to set a concise framework. Consequently, it assists in determining specific competencies that benefit students across varied situations.

Besides, these competencies have been selected as they relate to the skills that one requires to succeed in various areas of life. For instance, it could be dealing with academic goals or social circumstances.

Social Emotional Learning

1. Self-Awareness

Self-awareness relates to the ability to comprehend or consider one’s own thoughts, emotions, values, and experiences. Also, it includes sensing how their understanding of thoughts impacts their day-to-day activities.

Elevating self-awareness enables people to identify their strengths and weaknesses in varied areas of life. Therefore, it significantly impacts the decision-making process and self-management.

One of the primary ways of improving one’s self-awareness is to recognise your thoughts and feelings and how they impact your behaviour. Consequently, it will provide you with insight into your own decisions, actions, and decisions.

Besides, it will help you figure out what thoughts and actions lead to negative consequences and vice versa.

2. Self-Management

An individual’s ability to regulate their feelings, emotions, and behaviour without letting them get out of control is key to self-management. Hence, it is integral to improving in the context of managing work- or school-related stress and impulse control.

At the same time, it highlights the importance of maintaining self-discipline, which is critical in keeping distractions at bay. Therefore, a useful self-management strategy within a SEL teaching framework includes the following:

  • Conducting self-reflection sessions from time to time to assess your personal resources.
  • Acknowledge the suppressed feelings and keep them in check, including thoughts, actions, and feelings (anger, fear, worry, jealousy, loneliness, anxiety, and others).
  • Teaching short-term and long-term goals in the case of personal, academic, physical, and social-emotional contexts.
  • Facing the problems and turning them into opportunities.

3. Responsible Decision-Making

Responsible decision-making is one of the important capabilities that encourage people to make positive choices. However, it depends on the person and social factors, such as personal and academic goals, ethical standards, safety concerns, and social norms.

Nonetheless, it is necessary that you weigh your options and consider the aftermath of whatever you do. Also, you must determine your strengths and limitations and seek help or consultation to make particular decisions.

People make big and small decisions in their daily lives in a wide variety of situations where they must give their full attention and consideration. Consequently, it reflects how you pursue personal goals, for example, improving your learning habits to score good marks.

It can relate to maintaining healthy relationships or agreeing with another person’s perspective to see a different aspect of something.

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4. Social Awareness

Having a sense of self is crucial to making individualized choices and not getting swayed by mob mentality. At the same time, it is equally important to develop social awareness, which is the ability to empathise with others.

Social awareness enables you to see different situations from other perspectives and broadens your horizons. Plus, it makes you aware of diverse individuals and groups, developing tolerance and ensuring that you treat them fairly.

As a result, it helps to establish and maintain good relationships and social interactions, which in turn impact your life positively. You

will see that social-emotional learning influences school, family, and community.

Greater social awareness helps people understand and respect people regarding gender, race, religion, age, class, culture, etc.

5. Relationship Skills

Human beings are social creatures who thrive through socialisation; hence, building relationships is central to social-emotional learning. One of the primary reasons is that it enables people to connect with others and establish relationships.

Furthermore, teachers can incorporate this skill into classroom learning by implementing a student-centric pedagogy. For example, group discussions, assignments, and projects are great activities to foster collaboration.

What’s more, these activities will encourage students to utilise active listening and effective communication. Simultaneously, it will help them learn different perspectives and respect others’ thoughts, values, and emotions.

Besides, being able to make positive relationships helps to create a social circle that might prove useful in the future.

What Are the Advantages of Social Emotional Learning?

Social Emotional Learning

Improves student motivation

Social-emotional learning prioritises developing important soft skills that enable students to improve their learning habits. They take on challenges and dedicate themselves to accomplishing their goals.

Also, they take an active interest in their academics and strive to overcome obstacles that prevent them from fulfilling their objectives.

Better mental health

Mental health gets hardly any attention amidst the competitive academic race, wherein the goal is to score As in all subjects. Peer pressure, exam anxiety, bottled-up emotions, and aggression deteriorate the state of mind.

Therefore, social-emotional learning is a vital approach that teaches students to process their feelings and express them. Consequently, students address the issues that they face and inform their parents accordingly.

When students manage unresolved issues successfully, they succeed in achieving better mental health.

Improvement in Overall Performance

Students who have well-balanced mental stability succeed in performing efficiently in all aspects of their lives. Furthermore, they can concentrate better, learn various skills, and come up with appropriate solutions to problems.

Therefore, they would prefer spending their time brainstorming and finding creative solutions than obsessing over problems.

Developing well-balanced individuals

Students who have social-emotional skills can make responsible decisions that affect their school, family, work, or life. These decisions reflect their personalities, values, characteristics, and culture. Also, they are cooperative, practical, and intelligent and have the ability to assess the situation accordingly.

Moreover, being able to build good and healthy relationships helps them strive in social situations. Therefore, they are able to become well-balanced individuals who succeed in handling varied situations.

Bottom Line,

In an increasingly globalised world where students encounter people of different origins, it is imperative to be tolerant. At the same time, it is challenging for them to handle academic pressure and expectations. That is why social-emotional learning is a significant approach that teaches students to be self-aware and empathetic.

Still wondering about how to develop better student learning outcomes? Learn the best uses of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

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Posted By:
Prashant Borkar

Prashant Borkar,

Academic Consultant

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