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Learning social and emotional skills is important in early childhood

The discussion around incorporating Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) in schools is at all-time high. Many organisations direct their resources and attention on incorporating better practices that use SEL frameworks at the centre.


August 30, 2019 8:51:01 am
social emotional learning Social and emotional learning provides a foundation for positive, long-term effect on kids.

By Y K Sindhwani

Our modern environment is motivated by instant gratification and hence a student’s attention span is getting shorter and shorter. Parents and teachers are in a constant race to ensure that the children before them are regularly engaged and active. However, the impact outweighs the positives in relation to how humans interact with each other on a personal level. Due to this, there is an increased rate of detachment amongst children.

The discussion around incorporating Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) in schools is at all-time high. Many organisations direct their resources and attention on incorporating better practices that use SEL frameworks at the centre.

According to recent research on SEL, people with strong social-emotional skills are better able to cope with everyday challenges and benefit academically, professionally, and socially. From effective problem-solving to self-discipline, from impulse control to emotion management and more, SEL provides a foundation for positive, long-term effect on kids, adults and communities (Committee for Children).

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Students who participate in an SEL programme from an early age show:

· 83 per cent increase in academic gains

· 11 per cent gained in standardised assessments

· 11 per cent increase in GPA

· 30 per cent increase in a sense of self and belongingness

However, few schools have adopted the SEL framework from Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). CASEL’s mission is ambitious to help make evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) an integral part of education from preschool through high school. SEL is embedded in Personal, Social and Physical Education subjects for students as young as 1.5 years old. It is also delivered though daily assemblies and circle time. In order to maintain a balance in the overall development of a child it is important that all subject areas imbibe SEL practices each week.

Lastly, it is also important to bring the parents on board for SEL discussions. Attending parent information sessions and seminars would help them to improve their child’s social and emotional intelligence and hence extend the school’s SEL programmes at home.

The requirement of incorporating SEL in early education stands on the foundation of human happiness. Without SEL in schools and homes, our community will not be able to cope with the changes of our rapidly growing world.

(The writer is Head of School at Lancers Internationals.)

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