SEL (SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING)
IMPORTANCE OF INCLUSION OF SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Recently we have celebrated Teachers’ Day that eulogise teacher-student relationship. Traditionally the role of a teacher is to share information and knowledge with students and encourage them to learn the subject. But with the world entering into internet age, the role and expectations from a teacher has undergone a lot of transformation. Now students get all the updated information from internet.
This made the job of a teacher much more difficult. A great teacher today will not only be the one who can simply impart knowledge but also who can understand student as an individual and mould knowledge as per his needs, so that he/she can absorb the knowledge and set it in use.
Many scholars, researchers and academicians have identified conventional teaching as an incomplete learning process where students will not learn or absorb all the knowledge as she / he may be dealing with other social, emotional or psychological pressures during the learning phase.
Here the use and integration of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) in education particularly higher education play a great role in improving learning.
SEL stands for Social and Emotional Learning. It is education about managing one’s emotions and psychological health and using them positively to thrive in every sphere of life. Be it personal, professional or social life.
It is the process through which one can effectively acquire knowledge, attitude and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions; set and achieve positive goals; and feels and show sympathy.
It helps in maintaining positive and warm relationship around the students and helps them in making responsible decisions.
Idea of integrating SEL in school and higher education is quite prevalent in most developed countries where the emotional and physiological well-being of both students and teachers are of equal importance.
These programmes have flourished in schools during the last decade across the globe. However, researchers and practitioners of social and emotional learning (SEL) striving hard to include SEL in higher education as it is of paramount importance to young students who goes through a lot of emotional, psychological changes during their youth days.
Transition to higher education often involves forging new relationships with classmates, an entirely new peer group, and faculty and staff who serve in loco parentis. Thus, higher education students experience a heightened need for self-management, social awareness and relationship skills.
These programmes also help teachers to explore and built their own emotional well-being. The pivotal concern of these programs are to facilitate students’ social and emotional learning and in order to help students achieve a degree of well-being, teachers own emotional well-being is also promoted.
For years, researchers and practitioners of social and emotional learning (SEL) are working on these areas and determine the best practices available for intra-personal and interpersonal skills enhancement, problem prevention, health promotion, and positive development (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning [CASEL], 2012; Elias et al., 1997).
The SEL works on five competencies of a human being: self-awareness, self- management, social-awareness, relationship skills and finally responsible decision making.
- Self-awareness: Accurately recognizing one's thoughts and emotions, and their influence on behaviours; accurately assessing one's strengths and limitations; possessing a well-grounded sense of self-esteem, self-efficacy, self-confidence, perceived control, and optimism.
- Self-management: Effectively regulating one's thoughts, emotions, and behaviours; managing stress; savouring emotional wellbeing; successfully engaging in skills such as coping, problem solving, mindfulness, relaxation, and positive and productive thinking.
- Social awareness: Identifying appropriate social resources and supports; displaying accurate perspective taking, respect for others, and empathy.
- Relationship skills: Establishing and maintaining healthy relationships; seeking and providing help when needed; communicating effectively; negotiating conflict constructively; solving interpersonal problems.
- Responsible decision making: Making constructive, responsible, and ethical choices that promote self and other wellbeing; effectively managing goals, time, and tasks. [CASEL], 2012; Elias et al., 1997)
In fact, research has demonstrated that Social and Emotional competencies in these five SEL domains are critical to higher education students' development, adjustment, and success.
Poor self-management in students can lead to symptoms of emotional distress, such as depression, anxiety, and stress, which are consistently noted among the most prevalent and challenging adjustment problems facing higher education students (Adlaf, Gliksman, Demers, & Newton-Taylor, 2001). Building up these five core competencies through SEL can help students in managing their lives better.
One can also work on these five competencies on his/her own by consciously thinking about them and implementing them in real life.
Ms. Geetika Vashishta
Department of Mass Communication