24 March, 2011

#2 - Emotional Literacy

This is the second of eight discussion starters covering aspects of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL).

Emotional Literacy
Given that we are social and emotional beings it is somewhat paradoxical that Emotional Literacy is perhaps one of the least considered aspects of SEL.

Schools teach values, social skills, habits of mind and thinking skills in order to improve behaviour and learning. But all these are informed and shaped by the emotional literacy of those involved (staff, students, their families, their communities....)

Emotional Literacy and our most challenging students
Think of some of the most challenging students in your school
Q1.  How well do they understand the emotional experience of those around them?
Q2.  How well do they understand, manage and respond to their own emotions?

And what about low achievers who are depressed and/or give up too soon?

For more about emotional literacy go Emotional Literacy

#1 - Introducing SEL

In a recent role, I became acutely aware of how confusing the area of social and emotional learning (SEL) can be !! Is it social skills, or values, or a specific program ....

There are numerous programs and recommended approaches that imply they have the answer. If only it was that simple !!

Mapping SEL in your school

In response, I have tried to map and relate the various approaches being used in a range of schools. The result is an (interim) framework that may be useful, even if it is not simple!!

Over the next several weeks I will share my thinking in ways that might be useful for inschool professional learning, e.g., discussion groups.

Week 1 - Five basic Ideas underpinning the possible SEL Framework

1. We are all social and emotional beings
2. We promote social and emotional learning in all our interactions
3. There is a wide range of pedagogies available for teaching SEL
4. The outcomes of social and emotional learning are improved with

  • Emotional literacy
  • Social skills
  • Habits of mind
  • Thinking (and expectations)
5. These four dimensions of SEL overlap, support and complement each other

For more on this topic, see  Introducing SEL - this page may be useful as handout or discussion starter

Let me know what you think.