What is social-emotional learning?
The relatively new and evolving field of S.E.L. is examined at length by Jennifer Kahn in her New York Times article, Can Emotional Intelligence Be Taught?
Social-emotional learning is based on the premise that emotional skills and academic performance go hand in hand. Kahn tapped Marc Brackett, senior research scientist in psychology at Yale University. According to Brackett, emotional skills “affect our attention and our memory. If you’re very anxious about something, or agitated, how well can you focus on what’s being taught?”
Kahn’s article goes on to reveal that the ultimate goal of S.E.L. is to instill a deep psychological intelligence that will help children regulate and utilize their emotions, and it supposes that in doing so, educators may very well see smarter children emerging from their classrooms in the years to come.
Our children today are faced with an ever-increasing onslaught of academic pressure, bullying, and social exposure, to name only a few. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could equip them with the tools needed to navigate this minefield?