Committee for Children Blog

Bouncy Brains: Neuroplasticity and SEL

This blog entry comes to us from Training and Technical Assistance Specialist Catrina Cuevas.

Catrina CuevasWhen I travel the country listening to the experiences of educators, and when I am in a classroom, seeing the impact teaching social-emotional learning has on children, I am reminded how powerful and how transformational learning these skills is. Even in my day-to-day life, in my conversations with coworkers, friends and family, I am aware of how learning and practicing social-emotional skills has improved the quality of my relationships. Today I was reminded again just how extraordinary SEL is.

This time, I was watching neuroscientist David Richardson lecture about how SEL has the ability to affect the brain. I still often hear a dissonance between “touchy-feely” SEL and science, but this video shows how they clearly work together. When I am working to get buy-in for SEL programs from educators and families, it often helps to highlight the numerous multidimensional benefits of teaching and learning SEL. Having an understanding of the positive impact SEL has on school climate and school success, as well as individual attitudes and behaviors, helps people see why I am so passionate about it and the difference it can make in their lives.