Why We Can’t Afford Whitewashed Social-Emotional Learning
Aug 2, 22
Teaching ‘fearless SEL content’ can help give students the “Ultimate Life Skills”. Read more to see how social-emotional skills translate to tools that students can use to build relationships, foster social awareness and navigate unjust realities.
Social-emotional learning (SEL) skills can help us build communities that foster courageous conversations across difference so that our students can confront injustice, hate, and inequity. SEL refers to the life skills that support people in experiencing, managing, and expressing emotions, making sound decisions, and fostering interpersonal relationships.
However, educators often teach SEL absent of the larger sociopolitical context, which is fraught with injustice and inequity and affects our students’ lives. As an SEL practitioner-researcher who speaks nationally about the intersection of emotional intelligence, equity, and culturally responsive practices, I hear that educators shy away from such discussions for fear that they will be accused of politicization or that they will lose their jobs.