Skip Navigation

Social Emotional Learning

Children in Group

What is Social and Emotional Learning?

SEL Frameworks

SEL Competencies

  • Self-Awareness - the ability to recognize personal emotions, thoughts and values and how they influence one’s behavior in different situations. This includes development of a healthy sense of sense and a soundness of purpose which facilitates honest identification of one’s strengths and weaknesses. Self-awareness fosters a growth mindset, examination of one’s own prejudices and biases, acting with honesty and integrity and the integration of personal and social identities among other capacities. 
  • Self-Management - focuses on the individual’s ability to manage his/her emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in a situation-specific manner. It includes stress management, organizational skills, your ability to set goals, impulse control, and the ability to delay gratification. Among the skills included in self-management are planning and organization, intrinsic motivation and discipline, identification and implementation of stress management techniques, initiative-taking, setting personal and community goals and belief in one’s ability to affect the surrounding world, both individually and as a group member.
  • Social Awareness - the ability to look at situations from others’ viewpoints and to empathize with others. It includes perspective-taking in different contexts and of individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Included in social-awareness are the understanding of social just and unjust social norms, understanding how the larger community (i.e. organizations and systems) influence behavior, feeling care and compassion for others, recognizing others’ strengths and recognizing the demands and opportunities in different situations.
  • Relationship Skills - the ability to make and maintain positive connections with others and to be comfortable and socially successful during interactions with individuals from cultures and groups. ‘Relationship skills’ emphasizes effective communication skills such as active listening and clearly expressing one’s thoughts and opinions. The following skills also comprise this competency:  working cooperatively and collaboratively with others to problem-solve, compromising, demonstrating leadership skills, seeking and/or offering help when appropriate and exhibiting cultural competence.
  • Responsible Decision Making refers to the ability required to make positive and constructive choices based on individual and social factors such as personal and/or academic goals, ethical standards, safety concerns and social norms. This type of decision-making process requires impulse control and consideration of the possible consequences of different potential actions, as well as how those actions may affect the community as well as one’s self personally and socially.

Why SEL: Benefits, Equity and Research


Research shows that social and emotional learning provides a critical foundation for safe and positive learning, and increases students’ outcomes in school, career, and life.  Read more to learn about the short and long-terms benefits of SEL.