Social Emotional Learning

Social Emotional Learning

Stay up to date with the latest Research and Articles
on Social Emotional Learning

What is Social Emotional Learning?

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an integral part of education and human development. SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.

SEL advances educational equity and excellence through authentic school-family-community partnerships to establish learning environments and experiences that feature trusting and collaborative relationships, rigorous and meaningful curriculum and instruction, and ongoing evaluation. SEL can help address various forms of inequity and empower young people and adults to co-create thriving schools and contribute to safe, healthy, and just communities.” (​


The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) believes it is extremely important for children and adults alike to be successful and mentally healthy.  


CASEL also suggests that many risky behaviours can be alleviated through an integrated approach to learning social and emotional management skills in schools.

CASEL Outlines 5 Core competencies for

Social-Emotional Learning:

  • Self-awareness: Know your strengths and limitations,
    with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism,
    and a “growth mindset.”

  • Self-management: Effectively manage stress, control
    impulses, and motivate yourself to set and achieve

  • Social awareness: Understand the perspectives of
    others and empathize with them, including those
    from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

  • Relationship skills: Communicate clearly, listen well,
    cooperate with others, resist inappropriate social
    pressure, negotiate conflict constructively, and seek
    and offer help when needed.

  • Responsible decision-making: Make constructive
    choices about personal behavior and social
    interactions based on ethical standards, safety,
    and social norms. 

Learn More about SEL, Self-Regulation & Executive Function Skills

"Promoting SEL in the classroom can lead to student gains such as increased social and emotional skills, improved attitude, and up to 11% improvement on achievement tests."

How can Social Emotional Learning benefit my school?

​Teaching SEL in schools, as a whole school approach, creates a climate of success and well-being. In fact, a number of studies have discovered SEL programs have shown to improve students’ academic performance as well as attitudes about themselves and others.

“Our brains are malleable and research on neuroplasticity supports the notion that empathy and compassion can definitely be taught. Promoting SEL in the classroom can lead to student gains such as increased social and emotional skills, improved attitude, and up to 11% improvement on achievement tests. Children also see reduced risks for failure such as decreases in conduct problems, aggressive behaviour, and emotional distress “(Durlak, Weissberg, Dymnicki, Taylor, &Schellinger, 2011). When students, teachers and parents have the ability to manage their emotions, they are able to think of ways to ask for help, to negotiate and find solutions. This is what SEL teaches.


How can I get Social Emotional Learning?

​Positive Pieces Education offers Second Step resources for Social Emotional Learning that are a complete and high-quality resource that covers SEL’s five core competencies and meets CASEL’s stringent quality criteria. Having a program that explicitly teaches the five core skills not only enhances a student’s life, but also teachers and parents benefit as well. Schools are busy places and teachers need to be confident that the resources they are using are easy to implement, have structure and are fun to teach. The Second Step program has been designed to be easily integrated into the curriculum.

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