Here at Committee for Children, we believe teaching social-emotional learning is as important as teaching math or language. Here’s why.
Students who can self-regulate are better able to participate in and benefit from classroom instruction.
Having empathy prepares students to manage their own strong emotions and solve interpersonal problems with others.
Students who practice emotion management by recognizing strong emotions and calming down cope better and are less prone to aggressive behaviors.
And when students use problem-solving skills to handle interpersonal conflicts with peers, they are less likely to engage in impulsive or aggressive behaviors.
In short, social-emotional learning promotes students’ school success and connectedness and contributes toward a safe and respectful school climate. It also helps prevent problem behaviors, peer rejection, impulsivity, and low academic achievement. So the question is, why shouldn’t we teach our children social-emotional skills?
Some Facts About Social-Emotional Learning
Here are a few reasons why teaching social-emotional learning is so important to us:
- Students who participate in SEL programs have grade point averages that are 11 percent higher than their peers (Zins, Weissberg, Wang, & Walberg, 2004).
- Students who participate in SEL programs score higher on standardized tests (Payton et al., 2008).
- Students who participate in SEL programs are less likely to engage in high-risk behaviors that interfere with learning, such as violence and drug and alcohol use (Hawkins et al., 1997).
- Schools that teach SEL have fewer suspensions and expulsions and better student attendance (Dymnicki, 2007).
Dymnicki, A. (2007). The impact of school-based social and emotional development programs on academic performance. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois at Chicago.
Hawkins, J. D., Graham, J. W., Maguin, E., Abbott, R., Hill, K. G., & Catalano, R. F. (1997). Exploring the effects of age of alcohol use initiation and psychosocial risk factors on subsequent alcohol misuse. Journal of Studies on Alcohol 58(3), 280–290.
Payton, J. W., Weissberg, R. P., Durlak, J.A., Dymnicki, A.B., Taylor, R.D., Schellinger, K.B., & Pachan, M. (2008). The positive impact of social and emotional learning for kindergarten to eighth-grade students: Findings from three scientific reviews. Chicago, IL: Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning.
Zins, J. E., Weissberg, R. P., Wang, M. C., & Walberg, H. J. (Eds.) (2004). Building academic success on social and emotional learning: What does the research say? New York, NY: Teachers College Press.