Why do we need SEL to grow?
As the world encountered unprecedented challenge and circumstances, it also led to extraordinary initiatives by the Educators. The mentors left no stone unturned to keep the flame of knowledge burning bright to enlighten the students and everyone around. To meet 21st century skills, NEP 2020 was incorporated as it emphasizes on learner centric pedagogy as both the educator and the learner are able to execute, reflect and assess their learning.
The schools are committed to create learners equipped to meet the constantly changing needs and challenges of the world. We strongly believe that there should be no rigid separation between any discipline of study and the use of technology in planning, teaching, learning, assessment, management and regulation will help the students scale the heights of achievements. We encourage the children to dream as dreaming, after all, is a form of planning as imagination creates reality by overcoming the limitations of our minds.
Inclusion of SEL in Pedagogy
Following the dictum – no two students are alike, Pedagogy concentrates on the different learning styles in the query to quench the learning requirement of each student and to create lessons that help them learn in the best way with Visual -Spatial, Linguistic-Verbal, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Logical-Mathematical, Musical, Naturalistic activities.
We all want our children to become knowledgeable, responsible and caring adults and realize that schools play an important role in achieving this goal.
Experience and research show that by focusing on Social and Emotional Development (SEL) of children , each challenge can be achieved up to some degree. In today’s economy, SEL competencies are essential for all students’ long-term success. Furthermore, SEL program not only improves academic achievement but also reduces the incidents of misbehavior. Plus, there is the added benefit of school and class becoming a fun and rewarding place for the child.
‘’SEL program not only improves academic achievement but also reduces the incidents of misbehavior’’
Introducing SEL in the school
These skills are at the core of SEL programs for middle school.
- Self-Awareness: Recognizing emotions and their effect on behavior
- Self-Management: Regulating emotions, thoughts, and behaviors; managing stress, setting goals, and staying motivated
- Responsible Decision-Making: Making constructive decisions in social situations based on ethics, safety, and social norms
- Relationship Skills: Developing positive relationships with diverse groups and individuals; communicating clearly and cooperating with others
- Social Awareness: Empathizing and understanding the views of others, including those of other cultures or backgrounds
SEL introduction required specific approach, many activities and discussions had to be changed.
Realization that they are not alone made empathizing easy. This boosted their confidence and self-esteem, which had a positive impact on their academic achievement. They also demonstrated improved classroom behavior as well as a greater ability to cope with stress and depression. A learner who recognizes and respects his or her emotions is a better-adjusted individual who will also recognize and appreciate others.
‘’SEL Students demonstrated improved classroom behavior as well as a greater ability to cope with stress and depression’’
Researches show statistically significant associations between SEL skills in formative years and key outcomes for young adults years later.
We believe in structuring opportunities for SEL to “learning by doing,” we not only connect theory to practice, but simply design experiential learning programs with a trans-disciplinary approach and explicit attention to the kinds of relationships we intend to enable or create. Our carefully chosen objectives are supported by reflection, critical analysis and synthesis and are structured to motivate the students to take initiatives, make decisions and be accountable for results. Throughout the student is actively engaged in posing questions, investigating, experimenting, being curious, solving problems, assuming responsibility and being creative. In the process, relationships are developed and nurtured as the students are engaged intellectually and emotionally.
A key resource, which helped in developing SEL, is The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). It has information about high-quality, evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) programs. With the support of their fundamental framework, one can build a curriculum that considers the school’s environmental and psychosocial variables.
Various researches and experiments show that SEL programs are effective and play an important role in the holistic development of the child. Then why are the schools so complacent in giving it a try? Shouldn’t we use a proven preventive measure before it becomes too late?
Author – Nisha Pareek, Junior & Middle Section Coordinator, Birla Balika Vidyapeeth