The benefits of Social and Emotional Learning...
Emotional and Social Learning offers a host of benefits. Consider a classroom in which group work focuses not only on mastering academic
material but also on how well students collaborate and communicate with one another. These skills are imperative for today’s youngest generations, who require a wideranging
set of social and emotional abilities to prepare them for the demands of a rapidly changing workplace, position them to achieve better academic outcomes and equip them
to contribute to society.
The workplace is changing. In the US, the jobs that have grown the most consistently over the past two decades, as measured by wages and employment, are those that require
both high cognitive skills and interpersonal skills. According to Professor David J. Deming of Harvard University, since 1980 the bulk of job growth in the US has been in
occupations that require high social skills. Given these trends, learning must be transformed in ways that will enable students to acquire the broad set of skills
that will help them to thrive in a rapidly evolving, technologysaturated world.
A projected 65% of children entering grade school will work in jobs that do not exist today, a transformation that will require social and emotional skills such as creativity, initiative
and adaptability to navigate. Some economists argue that the emerging labour market will require workers to be able to solve unstructured problems, work with new information
and carry out non-routine manual tasks. That’s true even for manual or administrative jobs, for which responsibilities now generally include much less routine labour and more
digitized, nuanced communication. Moreover, middle-class jobs increasingly will depend on a worker’s ability to process and convey information. To succeed at work, people must be able not only to analyse
problems without the benefit of an instruction sheet but also to communicate their findings to others, across borders and time zones. Jobs of the future certainly will continue
to require routine manual abilities. However, the résumés of successful candidates will need to include social and emotional proficiency.
Some employers already recognize the benefits of social and emotional skills in the 21st-century workplace – including global internet giant Google. After examining
employee surveys and performance reviews, Google found that its most effective managers were good coaches, took an active interest in their employees’ lives and were skilled
at listening to and sharing information. For example, as one manager said, when it came to communicating company updates, the most effective managers went beyond relaying
information to explain what that information meant for their teams. Academic and other benefits Studies have shown that social and emotional skills pay dividends in academic performance and other measures of
well-being. In 2011, a meta-analysis of 213 studies involving more than 270,000 students from kindergarten through high school found that SEL could promote a host of academic,
social and emotional benefits for students.
Students who received SEL instruction had achievement scores that averaged 11 percentile points higher than those who did not. Acquisition of social and emotional skills contributed to
better academic performance and improved attitudes and behaviours. It also reduced emotional distress. SEL has long-term effects during a person’s lifetime as well. In the 1960s, the Perry Preschool Study examined the
impact of social and emotional skills introduced early in a child’s education. The study exposed one group of young, at-risk students to a preschool curriculum that incorporated
SEL; a control group of matched peers were taught using a traditional curriculum. The study then tracked those children until age 40. On average, those who had participated in the
Perry curriculum had higher earnings, were more likely to be employed, had committed fewer crimes and were more likely to have completed high school than their counterparts
who didn’t have the preschool’s SEL-oriented experience. Similarly, a recent longitudinal analysis by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
across nine countries showed that having a balanced set of cognitive and social and emotional skills is crucial for children to better face the challenges of the 21st century;
social and emotional skills in particular play an important role in improving children’s chances of lifetime success.
In addition, SEL programmes almost universally demonstrate a strong return on investment (ROI) over long periods of time. In 2015, a cost-benefit analysis of
SEL programmes by researchers at Columbia University determined that the programmes generated an average return of $11 per $1 invested.This analysis was
conducted across six discrete SEL programmes, all of which demonstrated a positive ROI. Other studies have used different methods to demonstrate high ROI overall.
Although the most rigorous scientific evidence on SEL benefits to date has focused primarily on developed countries such as the US, evidence of the benefits of
SEL can be found around the world. For example, the International Rescue Committee piloted its flagship programme, the Healing Classrooms Initiative, in
Afghanistan, Pakistan and several countries in sub-Saharan
Africa before disseminating it in more than 20 conflict and
post-conflict zones around the world. The programme
trains teachers in learning strategies that promote positive
socialization, academic development and psychosocial wellbeing,
including child-centred and active learning methods.
Teachers trained in the programme realized considerable
progress in both academic achievement and social benefits
for students whose schooling had been interrupted by
Perceptions of the benefits of emotional & Social learning...
Our five-country survey of more than 2,000 educators and
parents revealed broad agreement about the importance
of SEL but less agreement about its benefits. More than
90% of parents and teachers in China emphasize teaching
children these skills, for example, and in the US, 81% of
parents and 78% of teachers emphasize SEL. However,
this reported agreement has not translated into a deep
understanding of the complete set of benefits that social
and emotional skills can deliver, in those countries and
Parents and educators across the world primarily see SEL
as a means of achieving better classroom discipline today,
not as a way to ensure better academic and economic
outcomes over the long term. Between a half and threequarters
of teachers across the five countries surveyed
listed better discipline as one of the primary benefits of
SEL, for instance, whereas fewer than half cited improved
academic performance as a main benefit. Parents and
teachers in China and South Korea cited an individual’s wellbeing
and happiness as a benefit of SEL more frequently
relative to academic-, college- and career-related benefits.
For instance, in South Korea, 85% of parents and 70% of
teachers identified the higher likelihood of being happy as
an adult as a key long-term benefit of SEL and only 11%
and 22%, respectively, listed better chances of graduating
from high school as a benefit of SEL.
To Be Continue...