Importance of Social-Emotional Learning
Social-emotional learning, or SEL, is the overall process in which children grow, learn and practice their emotional intelligence. Building the foundation and skills needed throughout life, learning to recognize and manage your emotions, develop positive relationships, set and achieve attainable goals, and how to make responsible decisions. SEL is intended to create a safe, healthy, and empathetic space that expands far beyond the classroom environment, reaching the home and community.
Why is it important?
SEL is important because a child’s overall ability to successfully learn is lessened when they are in an unsupported environment, it can quickly lead to a vulnerable and insecure mental state. When a student feels safe they are more likely to focus and thrive in a healthy learning environment.
Emotional intelligence is directly correlated with an increase in academic achievement, quality relationships, good health, and wellbeing.
What are the five competencies of SEL?
SEL competencies are broken down and focus on these 5 key skills:
1. Self-awareness - Acknowledging your own emotions, traits, behaviors, and values. Including limitations and they might impact your behavior or confidence.
2. Self-management - Regulating your emotions and behaviors, by implementing stress management, impulsive control to work towards goal achievement.
3. Social awareness - Recognizing, empathizing, and showing compassion for those with different backgrounds or cultures.
4. Relationship skills - Obtaining and maintaining healthy relationships with others, by effectively communicating, listening, overcoming conflict, and pursuing assistance when needed.
5. Responsible decision-making - Determining quality choices regarding behaviors and interactions, recognizing consequences for oneself and others.
Who benefits from SEL?
Students - Developing a more positive attitude towards oneself and others. A better grip on everyday tasks including enhanced self-confidence, persistence, empathy, and purpose. Students will experience decreased emotional distress, improved academic achievement, positive social relationships, and engagement with peers.
School - Social-emotional learning creates a safe space for students to learn about emotional skills, making them responsible for their decision making, creating a more consistent and constructive classroom environment.
Family - Creating a social-emotional environment supports and fosters positive relationships, initiating a closer parent-child relationship.
Community - The understanding and empathy towards diverse backgrounds and perspectives of others will help foster positive relationships within the community. While encouraging social connections between individuals within a community, creating a positive environment.
It’s important to incorporate Social-emotional learning in as many different methods as possible, including SEL video games. Providing students with diverse outlets and a new course of action to incorporate these new skills into their personal lives.
Our premier game, Ava, is a role-playing platform adventure! Following an autistic protagonist as she works her way through social challenges, self-doubt and finds her community. Our game, while blending SEL, provides autistic and neurodivergent youth a judgment-free zone to test out social situations and emotional responses.