What is Social Emotional Learning and Why Does it Matter?

Here at i2i we talk a lot about Social Emo­tion­al Learn­ing, also known as SEL (we love our acronyms in edu­ca­tion!). By now, you may have a grasp on what we’re talk­ing about, but let’s dive into a deep­er under­stand­ing of SEL and how i2i games fos­ter Social Emo­tion­al Learning.

Casel describes SEL as an inte­gral part of human devel­op­ment, explain­ing,  “SEL is the process through which all young peo­ple and adults acquire and apply the knowl­edge, skills, and atti­tudes to devel­op healthy iden­ti­ties, man­age emo­tions and achieve per­son­al and col­lec­tive goals, feel and show empa­thy for oth­ers, estab­lish and main­tain sup­port­ive rela­tion­ships, and make respon­si­ble and car­ing decisions.” 

SEL engages chil­dren, and adults, on a fun­da­men­tal human lev­el that we at Improv 2 Improve believe is essen­tial to learn­ing. Stu­dents who are strug­gling with anx­i­ety, bul­ly­ing and self-esteem may build emo­tion­al walls to pro­tect them­selves. This fur­ther inter­feres with a student’s open­ness and abil­i­ty to learn. When stu­dents ful­ly engage social­ly and emo­tion­al­ly, they are open, atten­tive, and respon­sive to one another.

 This lev­el of engage­ment allows stu­dents to set aside fear and anx­i­ety and begin to enjoy learn­ing with­out even real­iz­ing it. SEL, there­fore, fos­ters both healthy rela­tion­ships and engaged learn­ing as the stu­dents become open and atten­tive to one anoth­er and to what they are learning. 

The US Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion agrees! That’s why SEL is man­dat­ed in our pub­lic schools. In devel­op­ing these crit­i­cal social skills, we can reduce bul­ly­ing and iso­la­tion among our stu­dents while improv­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion and coop­er­a­tion as well as devel­op­ing empathy. 

With i2i’s games, stu­dents engage with one anoth­er and com­mu­ni­cate through eye con­tact, body lan­guage, and words — all while they are hav­ing fun. While stu­dents feel the joy of hav­ing fun through play, their brains relax, releas­ing endor­phins that help get them ready to absorb new infor­ma­tion. So SEL games pro­vide a play­ground for learn­ing in the classroom. 

Check it out for free! Sign up today to get one of our care­ful­ly craft­ed games to try in your class­room. We know you’ll love it as much as we do. 

Play. Fun. Joy. It’s Seri­ous Business!

Lisa Poskanzer

Lisa Poskanzer

Lisa Poskanzer is the Director of Joy & Co-creator of Improv 2 Improve. Lisa finds joy walking on the beach and gardening.