Physical isolation and stress from the pandemic are pressuring students to leave their studies. Social and Emotional Learning fosters resilience to keep them in school.
Teaching for Social and Emotional Learning
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is a skill-development process through which we learn how to manage emotions, problem solve, and create positive relationships with others. Just as students learn how to multiply and divide, SEL skills can be learned. Though it is important to understand, Social and Emotional Learning does not impose a particular way of being. Instead, students are nurtured to connect with, embrace, and comprehend their own emotions.
An increasing amount of studies are reporting that SEL skills support students to achieve success in school and in life. In response to this data, educators around the world are shifting their curriculum to include SEL.
SEL is One Piece of the Puzzle
The Mexican National Statistical and Mapping Agency (INEGI) reports the pandemic has forced 5.2 million students in Mexico out of school. Economic need and lack of digital access are two key factors that put students at-risk of dropping out during the pandemic. However, teaching SEL skills is another factor to consider. These skills may make the difference between a student who continues their studies and one who drops out of school.
There is hope to keep students in school. Social and Emotional Learning has been a part of ASF programming since being founded in 1984. During the coronavirus pandemic, it has become the main focus of our work.
Three ways we are coaching SEL skills during the pandemic are through continuity in group meetings, fostering peer-peer projects, and offering counseling services. As a result, 98% of ASF students have remained in the program since March of 2020.
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