The Complete Teacher


How social and emotional learning can transform classrooms

Posted by Karabo Kgophane on 27 October 2021 3:35 PM SAST
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Often a classroom environment is not conducive or to easy or good learning. Persistent misbehaviour by learners distracts other learners and causes stress and anxiety for teachers. This can lead to teachers becoming demotivated and burnt out.

Learners deserve an education that develops both academic and social and emotional competence to build the resilience that the youth of today need to thrive and develop when faced with our current and future life challenges.

Social and emotional learning is an innovative intervention approach. Which allows learners an education that develops both academic, social and emotional competence. Equipping teachers with the tools to build strong and trusting, bi-directional relationships via an SEL approach, ultimately changes the relational dynamics between teachers, learners and peers.

Thus transforming classrooms into positive learning environments where learners feel safe to explore and try out new behaviours. This process also enables children and adults to apply a set of skills or competencies to navigate through life. Ensuring success initially in school, later in the workplace, and ultimately, as constructive and responsible members of society.

3 Positive Classroom Outcomes of SEL:

  1. Quality teacher classroom management,
  2. Improved academic achievement
  3. Strengthened relationships in classrooms

Overall, the result of SEL is better student behaviour and emotional health as well as increased commitment to learning and school by both learners and teachers. Furthermore, Godfrey elaborates that, “Studies of young people who have developed social and emotional competencies at school show that they experience long-term positive outcomes at a tertiary level including improved high school graduation, better college and career readiness, healthy relationships and good mental health. There’s less likelihood of criminal behaviour and more inclination to be engaged citizens.”

The 5 Benefits of SEL

  1. Improved behaviour
  2. Cultivating empathy and compassion
  3. Strengthened ability to establish and maintain positive relationships
  4. Increased self-confidence
  5. Better decision making and goalkeeping

By developing the capacity to manage emotions and regulate themselves, children and adults at school can make better, healthier choices in the midst of stressful situations. Improving social skills in the classroom such as learning to resolve conflicts, actively listen and how to find value in diversity can reduce disruptive or socially inappropriate behaviours, and decrease the levels of stress and anxiety so that academic learning can improve.

By Sara Hayne

Source: Edutopia





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