Best Practice

Developing students' social-emotional skills: 10 classroom strategies

As part of a whole-school approach to students’ personal development and social-emotional skills, Dr Leila Khouja Walker offers 10 practical strategies to enable every teacher of every subject to play their part

 

In the 6th Century BC, Chinese philosopher Laozi said: “He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.”

At the heart of social-emotional learning (SEL) lies the concept of knowing yourself first, then understanding others, building effective relationships and making better decisions.

The impact evidence for SEL in our schools has been around for decades. Despite this, it is yet to become an education mainstay.

Meanwhile, employers continue to cry out for skilled employees. The World Economic Forum (2020) identified its top 10 skills for the workplace – nine of them were social-emotional skills.

At the same time, the wellbeing and mental health crisis affecting our young people has worsened with Covid-19 (Newlove-Delgado et al, 2022).

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