Social-Emotional learning involves the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills to create positive relationships, manage emotions and achieve personal goals. It is essential for one to have the ability to control their feelings and relate to others positively to foster positive growth and development. There are various dimensions of social-emotional learning as defined by research and non-profit organizations. These dimensions will be presented in this paper.
Interpersonal, intrapersonal and intellectual strengths are the three dimensions of social-emotional learning (“About,” 2017). Interpersonal strengths involve the ability to be grateful and the ability to have positive relationships with others. Positive relationships can be created through clear communication involving the use of listening and negotiation skills while avoiding social pressure that is inappropriate to prevent conflict. People and their cultures can be shown appreciation by showing respect for their beliefs, culture, and values and being empathetic to their situations (“About,” 2017).
Intrapersonal strengths involve passion coupled with motivation and self- control to aid in the achievement of goals. Self- control reduces stress and promotes motivation aiding in the achievement of goals. Intellectual strengths involve cultivation of curiosity and enabling the growth of the mind to create, discover and reflect. For the mind’s growth to occur, one has to be aware of their emotions, strengths, and weaknesses while tapping into their curiosity to create confidence and optimism. (‘About,’ 2017).
According to Gross-Loh (2016), social-emotional learning involves three dimensions. They include fixed mindset, growth mindset and false growth mindset. The fixed mindset is the belief that one’s abilities are predetermined. This idea demonstrates one’s lack of confidence in the development of skills and abilities. People with this mindset believe that they have no control over their emotions, thoughts or actions which creates difficulties in the development of self- awareness, self- management and responsible decision- making. This sort of close-mindedness creates social problems (Gross- Loh, 2016).
A growth mindset occurs when one believes that they can develop skills and abilities through effort, practice, and patience. This kind of mentality promotes self and social awareness, self- management, confident decision making and positive relationships. A false growth mindset, however, is a lack of understanding of the core ideals of a growth mindset. Giving praise to people to motivate them despite their poor performance is one such example of a false growth mindset. This practice may be dangerous as the performer may tend to think that they are right. Praise can only be given with improvement, but encouragement can be used to help improve performance thereby promoting proper social, emotional learning (Gross- Loh, 2016).
Bandura (1993), describes the dimensions of social, emotional learning as self- awareness, self- regulation, and a sense of self-efficacy. A sense of self- efficacy involves being confident of performance despite the challenges faced. Confidence, identification, and control of emotions, thoughts, and behavior exude the various phases of positive social, emotional learning (Bandura, 1993). Positive attitudes, competence, confidence and good character are other dimensions of social-emotional learning. With a positive attitude, one can create healthy relationships with diverse people. Competence, confidence, and character promote the growth of self and the achievement of goals (Taylor, Durlak, Oberle & Weissberg, 2017).
The various dimensions of social, emotional learning presented above are intertwined. One dimension weaves itself into another. The ideals presented in these dimensions are essential in social-emotional learning and should; therefore, all be present. Personal and emotional development helps promote social development. One’s ability to have self- control, confidence, and optimism attract others creating a foundation for positive social relationships.
- About. (2017). Character Lab. Retrieved 11 October 2017, from https://www.characterlab.org/about
- Bandura, A. (1993). Perceived self-efficacy in cognitive development and functioning. Educational Psychologist, 28 (2), 117-148.
- Gross-Loh, C. (2016, December 16). How praise became a consolation prize. The Atlantic Daily, 1059, pp 1-8.
- Taylor, R.D., Durlak, J.A., Oberle, E. & 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.