Monday, November 21, 2011

Social and Emotional Learning

Dear Friends,
     One of the frameworks for understanding the emotional needs of children (and all of us) was created by Maurice Elias, Ph.D.  He, along with others, have defined Social and Emotional Learning (SEL).  Below is a simple framework, created by Dr. Elias, of the tasks that children need to allow them to feel successful personally, socially, academically too.  Our children and our students take their cues from us too.  As we learn so do they.
     In this overview of five basic categories and strategies, I have used some of the words from Dr. Elias as well as from his work in the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning.  I have also been lucky enough to learn about this topic from Dr. Joanne MacLennan from the College of Saint Elizabeth.  She works closely with Dr. Elias to infuse the elements of SEL into teacher and counselor training programs.
     I have added some tasks that I see as important in my work with students who are in Pre-School as well as those in Graduate School.  Of course, there are many more tasks for children and for all of us, but this simple framework offers a good stepping stone from which to begin.

Best Wishes for a Great Day!
Kimberly Borin
Learning Specialist

Social and Emotional Skills Include:

Ability to recognize an emotion as it is happening
Ability to recognize the emotion before it is happening and be able to label it
Ability to recognize that several emotions can take place at once and to know how to see help to understand them and define them
Ability to label the emotion itself (anger, sadness, jealousy, happiness) and to not label it as “good” or “bad”
Ability to monitor the emotion(s)
Assertiveness and being able to voice one's opinions, wants and needs
Maintain a healthy self-respect and positive self-image

Self-Management (Managing Emotions)
Ability to regulate one’s emotions
Ability to "self-soothe" and choose healthy options for feeling better
Ability to delay gratification and work towards a goal
Ability to control impulsivity, acting out, etc.
Ability to choose tools that will help them to face, express, regulate and attend to their emotions
Optimism to know that they have the ability and the tools to change how they feel
Self-efficacy and responsibility to make the right choices
Ability to be resilient in difficult situations

Social Awareness (Understanding Others)
Ability to recognize and label emotions in others through verbal and non-verbal interactions
Ability to understand reasons for emotions in others
Empathy and compassion for others – ability to validate others’ emotional experiences and respond appropriately
Ability to have empathy but not take on the emotions of others
Navigating individual friendships as well as group situations

Relationship Management
Ability to establish rapport
Cooperation and the ability to compromise
Trustworthiness and respect for others
Leadership being able to lead in a positive way and to understand one's own style of leading
Ability to resolve conflicts in a positive manner
Infusing elements of Character Education that lead to positive and healthy relationships.
Understanding their ability to have a positive impact and that their presence matters

Problem Solving and Decision Making
Ability to understand emotional states for problem recognition
Ability to identify the consequences of one’s actions
Ability to use problem-solving steps.

Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning - Tools for Families -
Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning - What is SEL? -
Helping Children Cope with Stress -
Educators for Social Responsibility -
21st Century Skills