Socio-Emotional Learning

Socio-emotional learning (SEL) aims to teach children to make responsible decisions, manage their emotions, and maintain a positive attitude toward school and social relationships. SEL uses classroom instruction, community service, extracurricular activities, and supportive home environments to help children develop into responsible and constructive members of society. SEL begins at home with caregivers and continues with school programs spanning preschool through high school, teaching students social- and self-awareness, impulse control, empathy, cooperation, and problem resolution. This entry describes the history, approaches, and effectiveness of SEL programs.

History of SEL

Social and emotional learning became popular in the early 1990s when Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer published research about emotional intelligence, defined as the ability to recognize and monitor one’s emotions and use them to direct cognition ...

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