Social & Emotional Learning
What are Social and Emotional Skills?
Social emotional skills are the skills that allow us to understand ourselves and to form healthy relationships with other people. These skills include the ability to recognize and manage emotions, to take the perspective of others, and to effectively resolve conflicts. Social emotional skills are developed through the experiences of daily living, and can also be taught and practiced. Research has shown that acquiring social emotional skills supports academic achievement and prevents risky behaviors (Dulak, et. Al 2011). These competencies serve as a foundation for making responsible decisions that support individual well-being, and more broadly, support healthy communities.
The Bellevue School District is focusing on the Washington State Social Emotional Learning Standards and Benchmarks. More information can be found here: OSPI SEL Standards & Benchmarks. These standards include Self-Management, Self-Awareness, Self-Efficacy, Social Awareness, Social Management and Social Engagement.
These standards are broad in scope and remain relevant to social emotional development across the lifespan. At the earliest ages, babies practice self-management skills through self-soothing, regulating sleep cycles and calming down after play with a parent or sibling. They practice social awareness and relationship skills as they follow the gaze of a caregiver as they seek to develop positive attachments. Self-management and relationship skills continue to be important into adulthood as we seek to manage frustration, or impulses, and work to form meaningful relationships with friends, coworkers, and mates. Research has highlighted the importance of these skills in students’ abilities to productively participate in collaborative learning and respectfully resolve conflicts with others. Social and emotional skills also provide the foundation for healthy relationships and positive school climates.
- CASEL: Collaboration for Social Emotional Learning