Increasing social emotional learning is the concept of boosting students’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes to demonstrate social emotional competence. These can be characterized as intrapersonal skills including realistic goal setting, positive mindsets, self-control, emotion regulation, and coping strategies as well as interpersonal skills including listening, communication, perspective taking, negotiation and social problem solving. Social emotional learning (SEL) has been shown to be effective through both explicit teaching often in the form of a series of lessons designed to address one of the above characteristics of SEL or implicit teaching through development of a classroom or school environment that elicits those skills (ie. Developing a safe, supportive school community). There are a variety of programs that are available that enhances social emotional learning or strategies can be adopted at the school or classroom level that embed SEL in every day lessons.
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- Depending on whether a specific program is implemented or whether certain approaches are taken that support SEL, cost and resources needed can vary. Regardless of the type of approach that’s taken, it is recommended there should be some measure of support and education for staff, resource sharing with parents and caregivers, and decision-making process to identify the best fit for the setting. How a program or set of strategies are implemented is also important because it can impact how large of an impact they can have on students. For support on the best approach, contact your board Mental Health Lead.
- Care should be taken when implementing programs at the middle and high school levels to avoid unintended harms.