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Responsible Decision-Making: The ability to make constructive and respectful choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on consideration of ethical standards, safety concerns, social norms, the realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and the well-being of self and others.
Social and emotional competence provides a foundation for academic success (Zins et al., 2004).
The knowledge, skills, and attitudes within the CASEL five competency clusters are especially critical during adolescence because youth at this stage are going through rapid physical, emotional, and cognitive changes.
These changes create unique opportunities for personal and social skill development.
Relationship Skills: The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups.
This includes communicating clearly, listening actively, cooperating, resisting inappropriate social pressure, negotiating conflict constructively, and seeking and offering help when needed.
The importance of SEL for high school is also growing in light of its link to college and career readiness and dropout prevention.
This includes managing stress, controlling impulses, motivating oneself, and setting and working toward achieving personal and academic goals.
Social Awareness: The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures, to understand social and ethical norms for behavior, and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.
Adolescents also engage in more risky behavior than younger students and face a variety of challenging situations, including increased independence, peer pressure, and exposure to social media.
Longitudinal studies have shown that increased social and emotional competence is related to reductions in a variety of problem behaviors including aggression, delinquency, substance use, and dropout.
This is best done through effective classroom instruction, student engagement in positive activities in and out of the classroom, and broad parent and community involvement in program planning, implementation, and evaluation.