What is Social-Emotional Learning?
This term has been in use for decades in areas of academia and education. In recent years, social-emotional learning, has been discussed extensively, while gaining momentum worldwide and in Israel in particular.
So, what’s all the fuss about? Social-Emotional Learning is a process that each of us undergoes throughout life, and is actually an application of social, emotional and behavioral skills required in order to succeed in school, at work, in relationships and in civic life in general. When it comes to learning – the earlier you start providing solutions tailored to each student, the impact in the long run will be more significant.
Studies show that Social-Emotional Learning is consistently and positively associated with improved academic achievements in various fields of knowledge, as well as improved mental health, success at work and in relationships, and a more significant civic engagement.
The most common model used for defining these skills is the model presented by the CASEL Organization, which addresses, among other things, four components:
Self-Management Exhibiting self-discipline and self-motivation, Managing one’s emotions, Setting personal and collective goals, Developing collective and personal agency
Self-Awareness Identifying one’s emotions, Experiencing self-efficacy, Having a growth mindset, Identifying interests and a sense of purpose
Social Awareness Taking others’ perspectives, Demonstrating empathy and compassion , Showing concern for the feelings of others
Relationship Skills Developing positive relationships, Practicing teamwork and collaborative problem-solving, Resolving conflicts constructively, Sense of Belonging
According to the personalized learning approach, the curricula should be tailored individually to each student’s needs, for example, taking into account the student’s pace of learning, areas of interest, strengths and weaknesses.
Nowadays, personalized solutions are offered in almost every field – nutrition, medicine, consumer products, leisure and more.
Wouldn’t it make sense to teach students using this method in schools as well? Personalized learning would make it possible for teachers to challenge students in a way that suits each of them individually and provide them with unique, personalized solutions, while meeting external objectives. In this way, each student will be able to reach his/her full potential and become highly proficient in various areas of studied content, while taking ownership of the learning process.
The core values that are the foundation of a personalized learning solution:
Diagnosis, assessment and measurement Constant assessment of the student’s scholastic and social-emotional situation
Building a student-tailored learning plan Based on the diagnosis, the teacher can tailor a learning plan for each student individually
Feedback for the teacher and student Immediate, frequent feedback communicated to the teacher and the student, according to which it is possible to understand the student’s progress in relation to the learning plan that was set
Flexible and changeable The learning plan will change based on the feedback and student's progress, in a flexible manner
The role of the teacher and the student The student takes ownership of the learning process and assumes more responsibility, while the teacher receives more data about the student and becomes a professional, emotional facilitator
Combination of Personalized and Social-Emotional Learning Approaches
Both approaches are based on a profound understanding that the existing educational concept must be modified and adapted to the changing reality in the present, as well as to the needs and challenges that students will face in the future. The core values, on which the personalized learning approach is based – such as personal responsibility, student-tailored learning process, ownership of learning, and flexibility – significantly correspond with the principles of social-emotional learning and contribute to the development of these skills among students.