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Promoting children's ethical development through social and emotional learning
New Directions for Youth Development
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2005
Pages: 107 - 116, 13-14
Source ID: shanti-sources-89866
Abstract: In today's climate of increased emphasis on measuring achievement through high-stakes testing, academic subjects are too often divorced from the social context in which they are taught. We know that learning is a social process. In fact, many educators and other youth development practitioners recognize that social, emotional, and ethical development cannot be ignored in the name of better academic preparation, especially in the face of data showing that students are more disengaged than ever before. Social and emotional learning (SEL) offers educators and other youth development personnel a framework for addressing students' social and emotional needs in systematic way. SEL is the process of acquiring the skills to recognize and manage emotions, develop caring and concern for others, establish positive relationships, make responsible decisions, and handle challenging situations effectively. Research has shown that SEL has an impact on every aspect of children's development: their health, ethical development, citizenship, academic learning, and motivation to achieve. This chapter profiles one school in Illinois that has been implementing SEL programming for a number of years. The authors provide evidence of the impact of SEL on school climate, student behavior, and attitudes. Ultimately the authors see this as fostering the kind of understanding of the larger world that leads young people to make ethical choices. They propose that the lessons learned are applicable to a wide variety of settings, including other schools, after-school programs, and summer camps.