Are you a teaching professional, a member of an educational team, or a principal? Social-emotional learning (SEL) may be of interest to you. This educational approach is increasingly used by those who care about the development and well-being of children. It can be easily integrated into a school program or be completed during educational workshops. Here is more information!
Developing social and emotional skills at school
Social-emotional learning (SEL) enables students to develop essential interpersonal skills for their lives in society. These social and emotional skills can be developed through core academic subjects and/or special educational workshops.
Social-emotional learning (SEL) seeks to develop the following skills in students:
- Self-awareness: Youngsters become aware of their emotions, interests, values and strengths.
- Self-management: Students develop their ability to control their emotions and impulsivity in order to manage stressors. They learn how to persevere to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals.
- Social awareness: Youngsters develop their ability to understand different points of view, to empathize with others (whether it be their classmates, family or community members) and to act honestly.
- Relationship skills: Students learn how to establish and maintain interpersonal relationships. They develop cooperation and conflict resolution skills, while being able to ask for help when needed (or to help others).
- Responsible decision-making: Youngsters develop their ability to reason, make ethical choices and responsible decisions.
Essentially, social-emotional learning in schools teaches students the skills they need to behave responsibly, with respect for others and themselves. It is a positive base for improving academic performance while reducing stress.
Social-emotional learning (SEL) has become increasingly necessary in school setting, because this approach supports the overall development of students in a healthy learning climate, which encourages socialization. What’s more, this educational approach can help prevent bullying and violence.
In a focus group conducted by members of a committee for youth with behavioral problems (Comité québécois pour les jeunes en difficulté de comportement – CQJDC), teachers and special education instructors shared their perceptions about the integration of social-emotional learning (SEL) into the school setting. They recognized the many benefits of this approach on the overall development of students and indicated that it promotes positive relationships with teachers.
As well, an American study of more than 200 schools integrating social-emotional learning (SEL) followed nearly 300,000 students (from kindergarten to high school). This study demonstrated a significant improvement in students’ interpersonal skills, attitude and behaviour. The academic results of those who benefited from the social emotional approach were 11% higher than the other students’ results! What’s more, they also developed a much greater ability to manage stress and a more positive image of themselves, others and their school.
Finally, another study, conducted by the University of Illinois, demonstrated that integrating social-emotional learning (SEL) in schools resulted an immediate improvement in students’ mental health, social skills and academic results. The positive influence of this educational approach on students subsequently lasts months, even years.
How can you integrate social-emotional learning (SEL) into your school?
The educational science faculty at the Université Laval published a guide for educational personnel who wish to learn more about SEL in elementary schools.
It explains how teachers, special education instructors, principals and all school stakeholders can contribute to the social-emotional development of students. The guide begins with an overview of what SEL is and how it benefits students, staff and the overall school climate.
A hydroponic garden in school to promote social-emotional learning
If you are looking for a stimulating project that will keep your students busy throughout the year, and allow you to integrate social-emotional learning (SEL) into your school, Vireo’s educational garden Vireo hydroponic garden project is perfect! In additional to offering all the material necessary to build and maintain the garden, you will also have access to a digital platform that contains various features as well as educational content adapted to the school environment.
While students have fun discovering the art of growing vegetables, salad and herbs, they also learn how to interact, help each other and communicate in a mutually respectful manner. To complete this positive, team-building activity, Vireo offers access to its educational digital platform to the entire school.
These educational tools allow students of all ages to work together on a common project. While enjoying this collaborative experience, they also learn how to appreciate the benefits of nature and how to take care of it. Many private, public and alternative schools in Quebec are already equipped with the Vireo hydroponic garden. What’s more, the connected garden operates indoors in all seasons.
Whether you are a teacher, special education instructor, an educational team member or school principal, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information about Vireo’s educational gardens.
It would be our pleasure to explain to you how this multi-activity educational endeavour will allow you to easily integrate social-emotional learning (SEL) into your school.