In Collaboration with @x2VOL
What is Social Emotional Learning
Social emotional learning (SEL) is the process in which people develop interrelational skills that include self-awareness, social and relationship skills, responsibility, empathy, and more. Social-emotional learning has become an important piece of high school education, as educators see improved student outcomes because of an emphasis on SEL. More and more schools and districts are adopting SEL programs or tracking social-emotional development during a student’s high school career in order to prepare a student for future success whether that is in a university or the workforce.
What Constitutes SEL
According to CASEL’S SEL framework, there are 5 elements that constitute social-emotional learning.
- Social awareness
- Relationship skills
- Responsible decision-making.
Why is this important?
Social-emotional development is a vital part of a student’s upbringing. This kind of development impacts how a student shows up in the world, how they interact with their peers, how they approach school and jobs, and how they develop meaningful relationships. Social-emotional development is crucial in positive student outcomes because they are learning valuable life skills and concepts. Additionally, universities seek students who possess a broadened perspective on the world and developed self-awareness.
How do students develop social-emotional learning?
There are a number of ways students grow in these areas and they don’t come from just one thing! Many of these competencies are developed through school-related activities and programs. Five days out of the week and 7-8 hours a day, students are in school. They spend additional time with their classmates in after-school programs, sports, extracurriculars, etc. Tracking and encouraging social-emotional learning has become a priority for educators as they know so much of this comes from school or school-related activities.
There are three overarching ways students engage in social-emotional development through school:
- Community service requirements, programs or clubs.
When they become active members of their communities through service, students are able to see outside of their small world bubble, and understand needs and different ways of life. Through service projects, students work with their peers, local or even national organizations, service activity coordinators, and individuals they are directly serving. This exposes them to needs and circumstances outside their normal bubble widening their world view. They are also learning valuable skills such as teamwork, communication, collaboration, and respect.
Many schools have a service requirement for graduation. Others highly encourage student involvement in the community and award it at graduation, while others have clubs and programs where students can engage in community service.
- Work-based learning and internship programs
In part-time jobs, apprenticeships, internships, etc. students learn valuable workplace skills but they also learn the soft skills of problem-solving, relationship-building, empathy, understanding, cooperation, and collaboration. These school-based programs connect students with a job or internship and then have regular check-ins and assessments to evaluate a student’s development. It goes beyond a student just showing up for a shift, they are learning valuable skills they can take into the workforce in the future.
- Service learning classes, humanities, or religion classes
Some schools have dedicated service learning classes or incorporate service and service learning in a humanities course. Private schools often incorporate service and service learning in their religion classes as it ties back to their faith and the mission of the school to encourage spiritual formation in students.
Service learning connects service to what students are learning in the classroom – this gives students context for their work and provides deeper connections beyond checking service hours off a list. They can see and understand the impact of their work and reflect on their experiences in a meaningful way.
Measuring and encouraging development
These school-based programs ensure students are given the opportunity to experience growth on a deeper level. Success and development come when educators can see a student’s progress month after month, year after year. Tracking their experiences, reflections, and areas of growth is an important step in advancing social-emotional learning.
x2VOL becomes an extension of schools’ student programs to ensure students can track their progress and educators have insight into student development. With x2VOL, students and administrators track and manage these experiences and reflections all online, in one easy-to-use platform. Click below to watch our 1-minute demo of how x2VOL works.
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