Why Social Emotional Learning?
Social emotional learning (SEL) is a process through which children and adults develop the fundamental skills for life effectiveness.
According to the Texas Pre-Kindergarten Guidelines, early experiences influence brain development, establishing the neural connections that provide the foundations for language, reasoning, problem solving, social skills, behavior, and emotional health. All children benefit from direct social skills instruction, explicit teaching, and repeated opportunities to practice skills. The development of these personal and social skills enables children to a build a sense of who they are and what they can do. Children who can follow directions, communicate their wants and needs effectively, and get along with other children are more prepared to enter an academic environment as school-ready.
Additional information about the SEL learning standards in the Texas Pre-Kindergarten Guidelines
Impact of SEL
Behavior: Social skills and behavior directly impact academic achievement in kindergarten and beyond.
Academic Achievement: SEL instruction has a positive impact on academic achievement.
The foundational SEL domains included in the Texas Pre-Kindergarten Guidelines are:
- Self-Concept Skills: self-awareness of one’s feelings, thoughts, abilities, likes, and dislikes, as well as awareness of one’s body in space.
- Self-Regulation Skills: social awareness of classroom rules and routines, opportunities to expand their attention span, and build self-control and learn acceptable and unacceptable ways of dealing with social and emotional stress and/or excitement.
- Relationships with Others: children develop friendships with peers and increase their feelings of comfort, pleasure, and confidence in their social world as they build a sense of empathy and caring for others.
- Social Awareness Skills: support child-child and child-teacher interactions while deepening their understanding that others have perspectives and feelings that are different from their own.
The impact of SEL and why we teach it at the Pre-K Academy
9% reduction in discipline referrals
10% reduction in emotional distress
fewer disruptive classroom behaviors prevents and reduces bullying
Students receiving systematic SEL instruction showed an 11% increase in academic performance.
SEL increases student engagement and motivation to learn.
SEL has long term benefits including higher education levels, better paying jobs, and healthier relationships at home and at work.
SEL develops skills for college, career, and military readiness, such as complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration.
Teacher turnover costs $7.3 billion dollars. SEL reduces teacher stress and improves morale.
Climate & Connectedness
SEL improves school climate and increases connectedness. Students who feel connected to school have better attendance and are less likely to engage in substance abuse and other high risk behaviors.