Social Emotional Learning = Awareness

There's a relatively new buzz phrase in education these days, which people are calling "social emotional learning."

What is it exactly? According to information from the Handbook of Social Emotional Learning: Research and Practice published in April 2015, Social Emotional Learning (SEL) provides a foundation for safe and positive learning, and enhances students' ability to succeed in school, careers, and life. It has five major components:

- Self Awareness

- Self Management

- Social Awareness

- Relationship Skills

- Responsible Decision-making

School is regarded as one of the primary places where students learn these skills. "An effective SEL program should incorporate four elements represented by the acronym SAFE." (Durlak et al., 2010, 2011):

  1. Sequenced: connected and coordinated sets of activities to foster skills development

  2. Active: active forms of learning to help students master new skills

  3. Focused: emphasis on developing personal and social skills

  4. Explicit: targeting specific social and emotional skills

According to the clinicians who pioneered social emotional learning, they found the following in their research about the short-term and long-term benefits of SEL in students.


  • Know and can manage themselves

  • Understand the perspectives of others and relate effectively with them