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Social and Emotional Learning: Fostering Children's Whole-person Development

Overview

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Resource Page

Welcome to the Social and Emotional Learning Resource Page.

Remember what our children experienced during the class suspension period? A lot of them were doing online learning and self-learning, but some of them might be spending much of their free time playing video games, binge-watching TV and/or even idling.

As reported around the globe, during the current pandemic, a lot of children are experiencing social isolation which they may not be aware of, and in this connection, children without siblings may be particularly vulnerable.

To help our children cope better with this kind of situation, this resource page serves to provide some ideas as to how to develop children’s social and emotional skills, which are sometimes overlooked but are crucial for children’s whole-person development. These skills include skills to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. For more information about what SEL is, click here.

This resource page also provides a range of SEL activities which are designed for children to experience on their own or to invite their family members and classmates to explore together. These activities are designed to be fun and they tap into children’s natural curiosity. They can be done in the home environment and classroom. They encourage interaction, exploration, creativity and problem-solving. 

      "Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning." -- William Arthur Ward

What does SEL look like in families during the COVID-19 pandemic in Hong Kong?

Below is a dialogue between a homebound mother and her 11-year-old son, Mike.

Months of school closure due to the COVID-19 outbreak have left children isolated at home with much fewer physical activities and longer screen time. While teachers are helping to address parents’ concerns about children’s educational attainment by supporting different modes of learning, stressors such as fears of infection, boredom and frustration, lack of face-to-face contact with peers and personal space at home can be easily neglected. In view of this, the social and emotional well-being of our children should be given close attention. It is about keeping them connected and helping them feel safe and secure. In the event of prolonged home confinement, family members are the closest resource for children to seek help from. The increased contact time at home can provide a favourable context for promoting SEL. Ample opportunities are available for young people to make responsible decisions and reflect on the outcomes of their choices. SEL can be embedded in the fabric of our daily family life. Moments of parent-child miscommunication or sibling conflicts can be a starting point for identifying emotions, controlling impulses and exploring acceptable alternatives.

The SEL activities on this resource page serve to help teachers and parents to explore and identify experiences for SEL in different home and school settings.

How can teachers and parents use the activities?

The SEL activities are organised under themes related to children’s growth, e.g. Good Habits, Families, Wishes and Dreams.  Children can readily draw on the related areas of prior knowledge and language skills to establish learning connections.  Most of the activities are set in the contexts of homes and their surrounding communities, where social and emotional skills are authentically demanded for one to recognise emotions, make constructive choices and resolve conflicts. Each task is tied to one or more SEL competencies and provides examples of how family experiences and fun activities at home can be springboards for conversations on strengths, responsibilities and respect. Trips to supermarkets, meal preparation, games and opportunities to meet people in the community are all real world experiences that provide favourable environments for SEL.

Teachers and parents are encouraged to use or adapt the activities to promote SEL in their own classroom or home settings.

References

ASCD: Learn Teach Lead -- Promoting Social and Emotional Learning

http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/197157e4/chapters/The-Need-for-Social-and-Emotional-Learning.aspx

CASEL’s Widely Used Framework Identifies Five Core Competencies

https://casel.org/what-is-sel/

Contextual Learning

https://www.k12academics.com/alternative-education/contextual-learning

COVID-19 QUESTion Project: Supporting the Social Emotional Well-being of Students in These Critical Times

https://openfutureinstitute.org/covid-19-question-project/

Getting Smart: Extending Social Emotional Learning into the Home

https://www.gettingsmart.com/2018/10/social-emotional-learning-in-the-home/

OECD Social and Emotional Skills Well-being, Connectedness and Success

http://www.oecd.org/education/school/UPDATED%20Social%20and%20Emotional%20Skills%20-%20Well-being,%20connectedness%20and%20success.pdf%20(website).pdf

OECD Study on Social and Emotional Skills

http://www.oecd.org/education/ceri/social-emotional-skills-study/

Teaching: Let’s Roll Up Our Sleeves

http://hs-survival.blogspot.com/2010/11/organic-learning-versus-synthetic.html

Psychology Today: Why a Child’s Social-Emotional Skills Are So Important

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-wide-wide-world-psychology/201701/why-child-s-social-emotional-skills-are-so-important

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Competencies

https://casel.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/CASEL-Competencies.pdf

Social and Emotional Learning Toolkit: Family Engagement

https://www.movethisworld.com/white-papers/seltoolkit-familyengagement/

The Role of Families in Supporting Social and Emotional Learning

https://conservancy.umn.edu/bitstream/handle/11299/195183/issue-brief-role-of-families-in-supporting-sel.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

Transforming Education through Technology: Updated: Free Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources for Schools During the COVID-19 Outbreak

https://thejournal.com/Articles/2020/04/28/Updated-Free-SEL-Resources-for-Schools-During-the-COVID-19-Outbreak.aspx?Page=3

Activities

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