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Helping Students Develop Social and Emotional Skills

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of social and emotional learning (SEL) in giving students critical life skills such as self-motivation, communication, stress management, and organization that are key to being successful independent learners. Jurisdictions across the globe are taking different strategies to develop students’ SEL skills. In Canada, the University of British Columbia, which prepares about half of the teachers in the province, offers a specialization in SEL for elementary teachers. Graduates of this program not only incorporate SEL in their teaching, but they also help other teachers in the schools where they teach do the same. In Ontario, SEL is part of the subject-specific curricula. The 2020 update of the kindergarten to 8th grade math curriculum expects teachers to embed “social and emotional learning skills and mathematical processes” in the five strands of mathematics (number, algebra, data, spatial sense and financial literacy). And in Victoria, Australia the Ministry of Education expects that teachers embed SEL in their approach to all subjects. The Ministry provides “Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships” curriculum resources for developing students’ social and emotional skills in all subjects for all grade levels as well as guidelines for teachers about how to teach SEL.

Learn more about how top performers are addressing the SEL needs of students in our International Education News archive.