At its core, social and emotional learning (SEL) is self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, responsible decision making, and relationship skills. The ability to understand and label feelings helps students to communicate their needs and build resilience.
Young children are constantly seeing new behaviors in their world, and SEL helps them develop empathy and understanding when others have big feelings too. It also helps children to develop problem solving skills that are necessary for both academic and personal success.
The Social-Emotional Learning collection on PBS LearningMedia contains videos that introduce the five core competencies of SEL as well as videos on ten indicators of school-wide SEL and practical tips for implementation.
Why is SEL important?
Academic learning is a social process, especially in the early years of life. From small group play to explicit instruction time, learning is a social process that requires skills to engage with others. SEL teaches those positive and productive competencies. Effective social and emotional skills have a profound impact on children’s academic and personal success. Studies have shown these skills are linked to academic success and increased positive attitudes towards themselves, peers, and school.
How can I foster SEL in young children?
KET and PBS KIDS have many resources that teach SEL skills. Download the learning goals sheet to learn which PBS KIDS programs and apps are SEL focused, then find them on the KET PBS KIDS channel, PBSKIDS.org/video and PBSKIDS.org/games.
A study done by Texas Tech University showed that kids who watched Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood had, “higher levels of empathy, were better at recognizing emotions, and were more confident in social situations. This is especially true for low-income children and kids ages 4 and younger.” However, it’s important to note those benefits were only experienced when parents or a caregiver had regular conversations with the child about what they viewed.