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Home  |  Blog  |  Detail  |  SEL

Social and Emotional Learning


  • Friday, May 15, 2020
  • 4 Minute Read   

Learn more about Social and Emotional Learning in this blog post.

What Is Social and Emotional Learning?

According to The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, social and emotional learning or SEL is the process by which individuals learn to interact with others, set and achieve goals and regulate their emotions. SEL is just as important as reading, writing and mathematics, and SEL competencies are critical to success in school, work and life. SEL includes five core competencies:

  • Self-Awareness – the ability to recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts and values and how they influence behavior.
  • Self-Management – the ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts and behaviors in different situations.
  • Social Awareness – the ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
  • Relationship Skills – the ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups.
  • Responsible Decision-Making – the ability to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety concerns and social norms.

Why Does SEL Matter?

SEL empowers and supports children’s growth, development and success academically, emotionally, socially and financially through school and into adulthood. Without strong social and emotional skills, children are more likely to feel disconnected from school and their peers; have lower academic outcomes; struggle with employment; need public assistance; and have drug, alcohol or mental health problems. An investment in SEL is an investment in the success of all. SEL reflects the critical role of positive relationships and emotional connections in the learning process and helps students develop a range of skills they need for school and life.

SEL Benefits Individuals and Communities

SEL offers protective factors to help children achieve and reach their fullest potential, which in turn supports the growth and success of their communities. Connected and empowered children are more likely to become connected and empowered community members.

According to employment reports:

  • Kindergarteners with stronger social and emotional skills are more likely to graduate from high school and college and have stable, full-time employment.
  • 12 of the 16 skills identified as important for the 21st century are social and emotional skills.
  • Of skills that employers most desire in college graduates, the highest ranked were the ability to work as part of a team, the ability to solve problems, the ability to make decisions and the ability to communicate verbally.

What Can You Do to Support SEL?

Using a whole child approach to teach all facets of a subject and a comprehensive scope of subjects engages children and stimulates learning. Nutrition education lends itself to learning, practicing and mastering social and emotional skills because it creates excitement by introducing a familiar topic and investigating it in detail. Through nutrition education, children learn about food, the food system, all the individuals involved in that system and how food relates to culture and health. Further, nutrition education creates a shared language and understanding around food and food systems. How children relate to each other through food literacy builds relationship skills and social awareness, creating deeper connections. Support children’s SEL competencies today by going to the link to access food literacy materials for all ages.  



Adams S. The 10 skills employers most want in 2015 graduates. Forbes website. https://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2014/11/12/the-10-skills-employers-most-want-in-2015-graduates/#4ce53cfc2511. Accessed March 18, 2020.
America Succeeds. The Case for Social-Emotional Learning. America Succeeds website. https://americasucceeds.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/America-Succeeds-The-Case-for-Social-Emotional-Learning.pdf. Accessed March 18, 2020.
Center for Benefit-Cost Studies of Education. The Economic Value of Social and Emotional Learning. CBCSE, Teachers College, Columbia University. https://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/rulesforengagement/SEL-Revised.pdf. Revised February 2015. Accessed March 18, 2020.
Core SEL competencies. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning website. https://casel.org/core-competencies/. Accessed March 18, 2020.
Social and emotional learning. Department of Education website. https://www.cde.ca.gov/eo/in/socialemotionallearning.asp. Accessed March 18, 2020.
Soffel J. What are the 21st-century skills every student needs? World Economic Forum website. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/03/21st-century-skills-future-jobs-students/. Published March 10, 2016. Accessed March 18, 2020.

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