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Social Emotional Learning

What are Social and Emotional Skills?

Social emotional skills are the skills that allow us to understand ourselves and to form healthy relationships with other people. These skills include the ability to recognize and manage emotions, to take the perspective of others, and to effectively resolve conflicts. Social emotional skills are developed through the experiences of daily living, and can also be taught and practiced. Research has shown that acquiring social emotional skills supports academic achievement and prevents risky behaviors (Dulak, et. Al 2011). These competencies serve as a foundation for making responsible decisions that support individual well-being, and more broadly, support healthy communities.

The Yadkin County School District is focusing on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) by focusing on the following five competencies (Weissberg et al., 2015). These standards include Self-Management, Self-Awareness, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, and Responsible Decision Making. 


Social and emotional learning (SEL) is a strengths-based, developmental process that begins at birth and evolves across the lifespan (Weissberg et al., 2015). It is the process through which children, adolescents, and adults learn skills to support healthy development and relationships.  Adult and student social and emotional learning competencies include self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making (Weissberg et al., 2015).  Research indicates that social and emotional learning promotes academic achievement, well-being, positive life outcomes, decreased teacher burnout and can be a powerful tool for prevention and resilience when embedded with intentionality in curriculum, instruction, and school climate (Durlak et al., 2011; Taylor et al., 2017).  Systemic social and emotional learning is one component in a Multi-Tiered System of Support, and it includes school-wide and district-wide integration to promote positive school climate (Berg & Moroney, n.d.) and authentic family, caregiver, youth, and community partnerships (Weissberg et al., 2015).


Berg, J., & Moroney, D. (n.d.). Digging deeper into social and emotional learning (SEL): Exploring the Sel Landscape. American Institutes for Research. Retrieved October 28, 2021, from https://www.air.org/project/digging-deeper-social-and-emotional-learning-sel-exploring-sel-landscape.


Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D. & Schellinger, K. B. (2011). The impact of enhancing students’ social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school-based universal interventions. Child Development, 82(1): 405–432.

NC SBOE Strategic Plan. (2019). NC State Board of Education.


Taylor, R. D., Oberle, E., Durlak, J. A., & Weissberg, R. P. (2017). Promoting positive youth development through school-based social and emotional learning interventions: A meta-analysis of follow-up effects. Child Development, 88(4), 1156–1171. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12864


Weissberg, R. P., Durlak, J. A., Domitrovich, C. E., & Gullotta, T. P. (Eds.). (2015). Social and emotional learning: Past, present, and future. In J. A. Durlak, C. E. Domitrovich, R. P. Weissberg, & T. P. Gullotta (Eds.), Handbook of social and emotional learning: Research and practice (pp. 3–19). The Guilford Press.


Yang, Chunyan & Chen, Chun & Lin, Xueqin & Chan, Mei-Ki Maggie. (2021). School-wide Social Emotional Learning and Cyberbullying Victimization among Middle and High School Students: Moderating Role of School Climate. School Psychology.