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  • Writer's pictureMelinda Cropsey

What is Social-Emotional Learning?

… and why is it such a hot topic today?

STRESS is the number one reason social-emotional learning is such a hot topic today!  

We are bathing in a sea of stress… living in an increasingly fast paced and overstimulating world.  There’s almost no escaping it. And, stress causes us to act out in unattractive, inappropriate and increasingly inhumane ways.  Children and adults alike are in need of tools to navigate these stressful times... tools to help them reduce stress and increase their resilience and resourcefulness.  

Not only does the stress cause disruption in the external environment, ie. the home, the classroom, the playing field… but it causes disruption physiologically as well… cutting off access to the higher thinking and learning centers of the brain.  

Educators are scrambling to address this epidemic of stress! 

Here are the rubrics:  According to the Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning , the nation’s leading SEL organization, in order for children to succeed personally, socially and academically, they must develop the following abilities:

To recognize and identify their feelings

To express and regulate their emotions

To demonstrate caring and concern for others

To establish and maintain healthy relationships

To make thoughtful and ethically sound choices

It is the Breadcrumbs’ philosophy that there is no way to teach children these all-important skills without teaching them to tune into the wisdom of their own hearts.  

It is from the heart, the seat of emotional experience, that one truly processes and integrates all key social emotional concepts:  love, gratitude, empathy, appreciation, compassion, respect, forgiveness, cooperation, patience, kindness and peace!

The good news is… studies have shown that these skills can be taught, learned and evaluated - especially easily in early childhood!


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