Pros And Cons Of Social And Emotional Education

In recent years there has been a proliferation of books on issues such as emotional development and emotional intelligence. Like any psychological trend, emotional education has its supporters and detractors. The key is to keep a measured balance between required advances and traditional education systems that have more than proved their worth. This piece details the pros and cons of social and emotional learning and other necessary facts to learn.

emotional education

What is Social-Emotional Learning?

Before we dwell into pros and cons of emotional learning, it would be best to start with the basics. What is social and emotional learning?

Social Emotional Learning or SEL is a new approach that focuses on educating learners to successfully comprehend their emotions, feel them and follow the right course. In other words, social-emotional learning can mean becoming more aware of your feelings, controlling them, and gaining interpersonal skills to deal with them. These skills make handling school, work, and all your successes easy.

In a standard social-emotional education, you gain emotional intelligence. It means that you become competent and understand important frameworks, such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and good decisions.

Why Does Social Emotional Learning Matter?

People are placing so much importance on social-emotional learning. It is a discipline growly generously, and this officially proves its importance. So, why has it gained so much traction?

importance on social-emotional learning

Social-emotional learning is crucial to students and everyone else. Why? Mainly it features some of the legit life skills that will help you manage school, work, and everyday happenings. The most important lesson is self-awareness, which enables you to understand yourself, form good relationships with people and take responsibility for your actions. Also, it helps people build their confidence in everything they do.

Social-emotional learning provides you with tools to help you achieve your goals. You develop soft skills such as problem-solving, perseverance, empathy, responsibility, and social justice. With such a look towards life, hardly anything is blocking your success. Whether your studies or your business, everything is easier to handle.

For teachers, dealing with well-mentored children eases the job. Why? Because most students taking social-emotional learning are emotional intelligence and will rarely make rush decisions. Also, they are self-aware of what matters and often reason out the benefits and consequences of every action.

Advantages And Disadvantages of Social-Emotional Education

There are two sides to emotional education. In other words, they are advantages and disadvantages. This area covers each of these sides and what it means.

Advantages of Social And Emotional Learning

Here are why many educationalists are investing so much into emotional education.

Advantages of social and emotional learning

Less Emotional Distress

The traditional educational model was mainly based on the authoritarianism of parents. The latter could decide on everything about their children’s education. Why? Because the main goal was to deliver children who acted more like their parents.

The ultimate goal of the task was considered so vital that few families dedicated efforts to see how the children felt about different realities. Education was not individual but collective, shared equally among a large number of brothers regardless of the specific characteristics of each.

Emotional education has come to solve many of these problems. It ensures that children face their emotions and develop the best way to deal with them. As a result, they can make decisions based on themselves. With this freedom, children understand themselves and are keen to make the best decisions. Also, it becomes hard to have depression, anxiety, stress, or social withdrawal.

Academic Success

One of the pros of social-emotional learning lies in getting the motivation conducive to children’s activity. In the education setup, kids need to learn. So, social and emotional learning helps develop social/emotional skills, which translates to good academic performance.

The principle aims to end the education imposed by previous generations in which the fear of punishment became the main incentive. With such a mindset, kids are willing to learn and are innovative in various areas.

Read: Ladder method: A strategy to motivate children

Fewer Behavioral Problems

Students using social-emotional learning can attest that handling their emotions has become easier. As a result, the students are less aggressive and rarely cause a tantrum in school or at home.

Several reports confirm that emotional intelligence allows children to make better choices, and the kids rarely turn to drugs or develop behavioral problems.

Positive Social Behavior

Any reality of life causes us a feeling, positive or negative. In traditional education, those feelings weren’t allowed to flourish.

In modern social-learning education, things are better with emotional education. You learn how to feel and, eventually, channel these emotions into something positive. So, naturally, you will gain social interaction skills that help you comfortably interact with teachers, peers, and parents. Positive social behavior significantly boosts one’s life in their early and old days.

Disadvantages Of Social-Emotional Learning

There is a good share of cons of social and emotional learning, including:

Placing too many emotions won’t do any good

Emotions count. But too much of it is poisonous. It makes people, especially students do things without the sense of duty to develop. And such trends eventually translate to irresponsibility, indiscipline, and other behavioral problems.

Social-emotional learning takes away too much freedom when deciding on right or wrong

One of the biggest cons of social and emotional learning is that it decides which values matter. In other words, the system focuses on five main features that dictate right or wrong. Of course, these core competencies are essential. But, for critics, it feels like they are being to follow the stated values.

The education system feels like it is still connected to the traditional system

Educationalists claim that emotional education opens up new possibilities for children. And it does since it makes it possible for children to make their own decisions. But social and emotional learning feels like a track system to monitor the kids’ behavior. In layman’s language, everything seems like the parents are tailoring it, and some children don’t like it.

People can easily suffer from the victim mentality

Social-emotional learning demands that emotions count for all, especially children. And many educationalists agree with it. Why? Because, at the end of the day, what we feel will affect how we handle things.

The best way to handle emotions would be to acknowledge them, which is what social-emotional learning aims to achieve. However, we run the risk of trying to justify our subsequent actions on these emotions. This process of victimization is highly damaging because it prevents a clear view of reality.

Social emotional learning in preschool

Social-emotional learning in preschool is highly-emphasized since you develop the right life skills at a young age. Children can easily handle academic, physical, and mental pressure from now till adulthood. So, what does preschool social-emotional learning mean? It is the process of instilling life skills into children during their preschool days.

You do that by ensuring that the young kids develop social-emotional skills. Some of these skills include collaborating and getting along with others, managing emotions, focusing on the crucial things, and persistence even when things are hard.

Many educationalists confirm that focusing on social-emotional learning in the early years is vital. As a result, the children can use them for long-run success.

social and emotional skills

What are some essential social and emotional skills children are learning in preschool?

In preschool, you are introduced to a good share of social and emotional skills, including:

  • Personal care for their bodies, for example, they brush their teeth and faces.
  • Know their gender and may identify as male or female.
  • Understand what is theirs and their friends.
  • Form positive friendships with other children.
  • Control problematic traits such as anger.
  • Shows concern for friends and family.
  • Show a range of emotions and often comes down in at most ten minutes.
  • May show great emotions in case of routine changes.
  • Eager to learn new things.
  • Avoid danger.
  • Likes to help with some chores.
  • Follow and respect the rules.

Related: Problem Solving Activities for Kindergarten

How to incorporate social emotional learning in the classroom?

Emotional education is essential and is highly praised by educators for changing people’s lives. However, developing the best strategy to introduce these skills is necessary since it is one of the problems with social-emotional learning implementation. It would help to realize that milestones depend on the available cultural values and preferences.

Some of the efficient ways you can incorporate social-emotional learning in your classroom includes:

  • Start the day with a daily emotional check-in: It would be best to introduce daily check-ins to check the students’ mindset. How are the students doing? Introduce several methods to drive their mindsets into a better place.
  • Story-telling to teach kids various life skills: Read aloud with your students.
  • Introduce many partner activities: Make it your business to ensure that kids often collaborate for various assignments. It would help to assist them in ways to communicate with other people and decisively make their decisions strategically.
  • Group work in class: No one can be enough. It is one of the most crucial life skills one can learn. With group work, you introduce the idea of working together towards a set goal. Kids learn negotiation, leadership skills, and how to best contribute with their strengths.
  • Practice role-play: To have stable emotions, you must learn how to respect and understand other people. And the best method to do that is by putting yourself in their shoes. As an educator, you can use the role-play setting to help children realize other people’s situations. With this, children learn empathy and often consider other people’s feelings.
  • Have the children learn reflective writing: Give the students a chance to write about their experiences. For example, let them get a journal where they can write some of their moments and maybe what they learned from the situations.


Social emotional education is crucial and has repeatedly proved that it is worthwhile. This article summarizes the pros and cons of social and emotional learning. You learn the strengths and the problems with social-emotional learning. Ensure you read through the piece for more details.

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