Social and Emotional Learning
One of the core domains of Global Citizenship Education is Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) which is aimed at delivering a holistic and transformational learning experience. A recent study has shown that in order to learn and for society to thrive, students must be "socially aware" and "emotionally engaged." There is growing evidence on the positive impacts of SEL in leveraging young people’s academic performance and in also equipping them with skills needed to be successful.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought a complex array of challenges that had mental health repercussions for everyone, including children, adolescents, and educators. Grief, fear, uncertainty, social isolation, increased screen time, and parental fatigue have negatively affected the mental health of children. Through analysis of effective SEL programs, we have learned that SEL practices are particularly effective in interrupting the stress-response system and in supporting children and adults to manage and bounce back from traumatic, chaotic, and disruptive experiences. Given the shift in educational paradigm during the pandemic, developing strong social and emotional skills is all the more crucial and fundamental as these competencies could be the key to resilience and adaptability in addressing these challenges that students encounter inside and outside the digital classrooms.
Having said that, there is no one-size-fits-all social and emotional learning model, approach, or program anywhere in the world that is suitable to all students and educators. If implemented incorrectly, Social and Emotional Learning can do more harm than good.
Therefore, the integration of Social and Emotional Learning as a foundational literacy is crucial to help shape more resilient, adaptive, empathetic, mindful, compassionate, and critically aware individuals who are equipped to advance humanity by addressing some of the pressing challenges in our world.