Social and emotional learning (SEL) skills make us better people at home, at school, in our communities, and in the workplace. According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), these skills (as well as the knowledge and attitudes that propel them) include how to "understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions."
Unfortunately, SEL is all too often put on the back burner, relegated to a means of "classroom management." True, SEL might not be core content, but it's the core of all content. Thankfully, many school districts are recognizing this, as are developers of everything from games to VR. Perhaps the biggest endorsement for SEL and character education came earlier this year when the World Economic Forum's New Vision for Education declared character qualities and SEL "every bit as important as the foundational skills required for traditional academic learning."
SEL might not be core content, but it's the core of all content.
Of course, implementing SEL and teaching character aren't without challenges or debates. There's a lack of consensus about how we measure SEL and character skills (and whether we should or even can ), how technology fits into SEL instruction, and whether you can truly "teach" SEL or character. A few things are clear, however: SEL is important, teachers value it, and digital technology is part of our lives. Yet many teachers struggle to find the time, support, or resources to integrate SEL, let alone technology, into their day-to-day plans.
This is the reason for We All Teach SEL, an 11-part blog series offering quick, practical tips and tools for integrating SEL into any classroom -- no matter the subject or grade. Explore the topics below to find actionable activities and resources that build on tools you might already be using and content you're already teaching.