The Importance of social and emotional learning

When some people think about school and about learning, the “three R’s” often come to mind. For others, the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math are at the forefront of education. However, it is increasingly important to remember that academics do not exist in a vacuum and that learning is a very complex process. In recent years, a great deal of research has shown the benefits of social and emotional learning (SEL) on students’ performance in school. Social and emotional learning has five key competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making. More information about these competencies can be found on the website of CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning. 

A recent article by KJ Dell’Antonia from the New York Times highlights the concept of “emotional agility” and its importance in the development of our children. In order for children to be resilient, they must be able to navigate emotional obstacles. At times, it can be difficult to watch our children experience negative emotions, but experiencing those emotions helps children to learn to help themselves. Allowing children to feel and identify negative emotions is part of the self-awareness competency of social and emotional learning.

Focusing on the education of the whole child, not just the child’s core academic subjects, is critical toward the development into a healthy, productive adult. At Mason Prep, our guidance director Jamie Tuttle works with our students in classroom lessons that tie into the five core competencies of social and emotional learning. At our Head’s Coffee on January 19, Mr. Tuttle will speak to parents about the lessons and programs he has put in place at Mason Prep this year and will field questions about parenting and other concerns.

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Mason Preparatory School
56 Halsey Blvd Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 723-0664 (843) 723-1104