You may have heard that Social Emotional Learning (SEL) needs to be centered in equity to support all students. And you may be wondering, aren’t we supporting all students already when we teach SEL?
That’s a good question. SEL has the potential to help students and adults develop the necessary skills to understand their strengths, navigate their emotions, or work in groups. However, SEL is more than teaching a curriculum (remember this video that I recently shared?) We need to consider if we create the social and emotional conditions that allow students to learn and thrive in our classrooms.
And that includes considering the behaviors (including our own biases) and the structures that have fed an unjust system. Centering SEL in equity means that we understand how and why certain groups have historically and systemically received fewer opportunities and a differential treatment in our schools and classrooms. It involves asking difficult questions about our responsibility in perpetuating inequitable and discriminatory practices.
If we want SEL to meet its very purpose, our SEL efforts need to be done in service of equity and social justice. To learn more, check out the video below, where I discuss why SEL needs to be centered in equity and get a sneak peek into my new book, Teaching with the HEART in Mind. And if you already purchased the book, please leave me a review on Amazon or wherever you purchased the book. Your feedback would be a great gift!
If you haven’t joined the HEART in Mind community yet, head over to Facebook and like the page, so you can keep up-to-date with news in the SEL field, and additional resources to teach with the HEART in Mind.