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Why use a social-emotional learning curriculum?

Shaddoe LambertFebruary 8, 2023

Why use a social-emotional learning curriculum?

Social-emotional learning (SEL) is a schoolwide approach to building students’ social and emotional skills, which helps them become more engaged learners and better prepared for life after high school. Social-emotional learning curriculum can take the form of lessons, activities, games, and projects that are designed to help students develop new or strengthen existing skills in areas such as conflict resolution, self-management (e.g., impulse control), responsible decision-making, empathy building, resilience building and so much more!

Builds a foundation for academic success

Social-emotional learning curriculum is a great way to help students develop the skills they need to be successful in school and life.

  • Helps students learn to control their emotions. Many students have difficulty controlling their anger, frustration, and sadness when things don’t go their way. These feelings can cause them to lash out at other people or make decisions that are not in their best interest.
  • Helps students develop self-discipline. Not only does self-discipline help students stay focused on the task at hand when it may be difficult or boring, but it also helps them learn how to make good choices about everything from completing homework assignments on time to choosing healthy foods over unhealthy ones at lunchtime.
  • Helps students learn how solve problems effectively and creatively by teaching them problem solving skills. These can include brainstorming solutions asking questions instead of jumping to conclusions, working through each step slowly until reaching an answer, and more.

Builds a foundation for college and career readiness

By teaching students the skills they need to be successful in life, you’re helping them build a foundation that will make it easier for them to go to college and beyond. In fact, one study found that SEL is linked to both increased graduation rates as well as higher levels of postsecondary education completion among high school students. With these kinds of results, it’s no wonder that many schools are making their SEL curriculum a priority.

Builds a foundation for student well being

To start, SEL curriculum helps students find meaning in their lives by helping them identify their strengths and weaknesses. When students know what they’re good at, it makes them feel empowered, which can help them gain confidence. They may also realize that there are things they need to work on and can use this information to pursue new activities or try harder in certain areas of their lives. In addition, when students understand their strengths and weaknesses, it helps them determine what careers would best suit them based upon their individual personalities and skill sets.

Another way that social-emotional learning curriculum benefits students is by helping them develop healthy relationships with others around them. This includes being able to express themselves appropriately and having empathy for others who might be dealing with difficult situations in life. Students who are taught these techniques tend to develop stronger bonds with others.

Builds a foundation for student health and safety

In a world where bullying and cyberbullying are on the rise, it’s important to teach students that they have the power to speak up when they see something wrong. This isn’t just about stopping bullying — it’s also about cultivating a learning environment of mutual respect and understanding.

Social-emotional learning curriculum helps students recognize their own health and safety needs, as well as those of their peers. It also teaches them how to access resources such as counselors, teachers or other school staff members who can help them with these issues. The lessons in social-emotional learning curriculum help make schools safer environments by teaching kids how to recognize potentially dangerous situations while also encouraging them to address these situations themselves in the safest and most appropriate ways possible.

Builds a foundation for student connection to the school and greater community

Using social-emotional learning curriculum makes students feel connected to the school community and the world around them. We know that when students feel connected, they’re more interested in learning, motivated to achieve goals, and resilient in times of difficulty. These skills set children up for success throughout life by helping them develop a sense of self-worth and confidence, strong relationships with others, social awareness, and more.


As you can see, social-emotional learning curriculum is vital to student success. With more children experiencing trauma in their lives and schools being overwhelmed with students who need support, it’s crucial that we begin providing tools for teachers to help their students learn how to manage stress and build resilience so they can grow up healthy and happy.

Photo credit: Google Education

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