SEL in Early Childhood Education
Social and Emotional Learning
Educating students of all ages in math, science, language, and the arts has long been the main focus of school systems. While these are crucial for students to be successful in their education and careers, it does not prepare them to be successful in future relationships. This is where the new idea of social and emotional learning (SEL) comes in.
The focus of social and emotional learning is simple: it teaches children the importance of dealing with emotions in healthy ways. It gives them the opportunity to share their emotions (positive or negative) with teachers and peers in a safe environment. As children do this, they learn to identify each of their emotions, and then how to handle them in healthy and socially acceptable ways. About a year ago, this idea was discussed in an article found at the Huffington Post.
The article references multiple studies conducted on the topic of SEL. It says, “its benefits continue to aid students beyond the classroom for years to come…SEL programs have been shown to reduce bullying and other forms of social cruelty by increasing self-awareness, empathy, and understanding among students.” The conclusion, then, is that giving student SEL experiences can help reduce future risky, cruel, and dangerous behaviors.
SEL Within a Building Kidz Curriculum
What sets Building Kidz apart from other preschools is that we specialize in integrating performing arts and academics to educate the Whole Child. And it is not possible to truly educate the Whole Child without providing social and emotional learning experiences. At Building Kidz, we have multiple ways of doing this.
With younger children, we start by helping children learn to identify the various emotions. What does frustrated look like? What does sad feel like? As they grow older, we are able to integrate performing arts techniques with social and emotional learning. Our teachers help the children learn how to identify and work through emotions by role playing. With a teacher’s guidance and input, the children will face situations that may make them feel sad, happy, confused, or frustrated. Learning how to handle and communicate these emotions in a safe environment will help each child be a more well-rounded person in the future.
And that is our goal at Building Kidz: to give children the experiences they need to be successful in all aspects of their lives.