Social and Emotional Learning is a Super Power
Happy SEL Day!
SEL Day — a special annual celebration of social and emotional learning — is today! It’s a day for parents, caregivers, educators, and policymakers to promote the importance of helping little kids grow big hearts: What we do here EVERY day at Big Heart World.
To celebrate, we turned to a big-hearted friend — Darryl McDaniels, the legendary American rapper — to learn how SEL is a super power. He knows from his own lived experience the importance of social and emotional learning, and he has written a children’s book, “Darryl’s Dream,” to inspire today’s kids to embrace who they are and follow their dreams.
4 Reasons SEL is a Super Power, According to Darryl "DMC" McDaniels
1. It's Education.
When CASEL (The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning) was founded nearly three decades ago, it coined the phrase “social and emotional learning” and asked the big question: What if education supported the social, emotional, and academic development of all children?
Since then, the movement has grown, with parents and educators across the country (and around the world) now recognizing that SEL is an integral part of children’s education.
Here at Big Heart World, we define SEL as:
- Learning About Me — Awareness of self: identity & belonging, feelings and self-regulation
- Learning About You — Awareness of others: empathy, appreciation of diversity
- Learning About Us — Relationships with others: interpersonal strategies
2. It's Communication.
SEL starts the day a baby is born, when he or she is held by a trusted parent or caregiver. This back-and-forth between parent and child grows over time as children learn about who they are (their identity), how they fit into the world (belonging), and how to identify and describe all of the feelings that come with being human. These are the fundamental building blocks of SEL, which enable people to understand themselves and start to communicate with others.
3. It's Participation.
SEL equips us to work with others. It’s not just about understanding and managing our own feelings. It’s about empathy — thinking about the experiences and feelings of other people — and listening to them so that we are able to truly collaborate with them. SEL gets kids ready to work together on projects, play together on teams, invent and discover. We can’t do it alone, we can only do it together — which is possible because of SEL.
4. It's Elevation!
Through SEL, people learn how to dream BIG and work actively and collaboratively to make the world a better place — to stand up for others and to become global citizens. Only when we empathize with others, and celebrate the differences that surround us can we look across borders, identify critical challenges, and collaborate with others to solve problems.
Learn More about SEL from DMC
Earlier this year, Big Heart World collaborated with The 74 to produce a special event about SEL, also featuring Darryl McDaniels. To learn more from him — and a panel of experts — about the power of SEL, please watch the full event, available online.