Social and 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. Learn More
Socially and emotionally competent children and youth are skilled in five core areas:
Our emotions and relationships affect how and what we learn and how we use what we learn in work, family, and community contexts. On the one hand, emotions can enable us to generate an active interest in learning and sustain our engagement in it. On the other hand, unmanaged stress and poor regulation of impulses interfere with attention and memory and contribute to behaviors disruptive to learning.
Moreover, learning is an intrinsically social and interactive process. It takes place in collaboration with one’s teachers, in the company of one’s peers, and with the support of one’s family. Relationships are the engine of learning. Learn More
Several hundred studies using experimental designs with control groups have documented the positive effects of SEL programming on children of diverse backgrounds from preschool through high school in urban, suburban, and rural settings.
The research clearly demonstrates that SEL programming significantly improves children’s academic performance on standardized tests. Moreover, compared to control groups, children who have participated in SEL programs have significantly better school attendance records, less disruptive classroom behavior, like school more, and perform better in school. The research also indicates that children who have participated in SEL programs are less likely than children in control groups to be suspended or otherwise disciplined.
In 2019, the Indiana Department of Education released seven SEL competencies in response to a request for additional support in this area from Indiana’s education stakeholders. These SEL competencies are best practice to be taught in K-12 schools.
SEL falls within Indiana Codes 20-30-5-6 (Good Citizenship Instruction), 20-30-5-5 (Morals Instruction), 20-30-5-14 (Employability Standards).
IC 20-30-5-6 Good Citizenship Instruction
IC 20-30-5-5 Morals Instruction
IC 20-30-5-14 Employability standards
Employability standards: https://www.doe.in.gov/teaching-and-learning/employability-skills
Every Student Succeed Act (ESSA) requires states to address supporting all students. Indiana spoke to the importance of well-rounded education which requires schools to develop their students’ academic skills while attending to health and wellness, community and environment, and social and emotional needs either directly or through collaborative partnerships.