Social and Emotional Learning


This video, 5 Keys to Social-Emotional Learning Success, was shared from Edutopia’s  YouTube channel

Social-emotional learning (SEL) is happening in the U.S., China, the UK, and Singapore! Some of my friends get excited about new technology, some get excited about new fashion trends, others get excited about the latest music…I get excited about Social-emotional learning!!!

Validated by research, social-emotional learning is shown to enhance academic success as it actually reduces stress levels in that pursuit. It prevents negative behaviors and gives students the “soft skills” they will need to flourish in today’s work environments.  It also promotes positive relationships and attitudes about school, and in general.

It is said that studies of toddlers show that we really are “born to be good”. In his book Born to Be Good, UC Berkeley professor (and Greater Good Science Director) Dacher Keltner  discusses our natural tendency to be good.  Keltner makes the case based on research in psychology, sociology, and neuroscience that we are also wired for good. More specifically, he looks at the science of emotions and how positive emotions such as compassion and awe are contagious—and help to bring out the good not only in ourselves, but in others as well. (Taken from:  Social-Emotional Learning: Why Now?  by: Vicki Zakrzewski Ph.D.)

SEL cultivates our self-awareness. Focusing on understanding our emotions, positive and negative, to help us navigate the classroom, workplace, our relationships and  the decisions we make in life.

Again (if you are a regular here at “My Happy”), positive emotions such as gratitude, tranquility, love and joy expand our hearts and minds which helps us to share and connect with the people in our lives and increase our learning potential. Also, as I have previously discussed, there are times everyone experiences negative emotions and difficult experiences, however, our children will be better equipped to handle those times with this kind of learning.

The following is taken from a SEL brochure which can be found at

The Goals of SEL:

  • recognizing and managing our emotions
  • developing caring and concern for others
  • establishing positive relationships
  • making responsible decisions
  • handling challenging situations constructively and ethically

SEL is a way to unite families and schools to work together to promote children’s social, emotional, and academic success

Effective SEL programming improves:

  • Academic achievement by 11%.
  • Social-emotional skills by 22%.
  • Positive attitudes about self and others by 9%.
  • Positive social interactions and social behavior by 10%.

These programs also reduce:

  • Conduct problems by 9%.
  • Emotional distress by 10%.


supported at home reflecting a core value: how we act, by ourselves and with others, should show our empathy, our ability to manage our emotions, and a desire to solve complex problems constructively and ethically. When parents and teachers model and practice evidence based SEL skills and relationships, we can create and sustain caring communities where children can grow up in a safe and supportive environment that encourages learning. When outside of school, community groups, congregations and youth organizations join in teaching these same preventative skills, we can reduce negativity, violence and addictions.


Schools can help when:

  • We create and sustain safe, supportive and inclusive school climates.
  • We support adults in their efforts to strengthen students’ SEL skills.
  • We integrate SEL into the school’s curriculum, programs and policies, including academics, advisories, mentoring and  discipline policies.


Our homes could be an extension of the skills learned in school when:

  • We focus on our children’s strengths.
  • We model effective SEL practices.
  • We are willing to apologize.
  • We follow-up misbehavior with consequences.
  • We use books and media to support SEL skills.
  • We give children choices, and discuss their feelings without fear.


Our communities could foster SEL when:

  • We form partnerships with community groups.
  • We create public awareness campaigns.
  • We find sustainable funding to continue the work.
  • We find opportunities for positive engagement of young people







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