Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

In my opinion, the first step to learning is to inculcate interest in learning through effective motivation. The question is how can one be motivated to learn? Before we can embark on this motivation expedition, we need to identify the factors that can lead to motivation:

1. Feelings
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) includes recognizing and understanding emotions, strategies for managing emotions, developing the ability to recognize and understand emotions in others, and strategies for responding to the emotions of others. SEL also includes explicitly teaching and practicing strategies to develop emotional resiliency — the ability to bounce back after adversity. The feelings and emotional mood swings cannot affect one’s motivation to learn.
2. Curiosity
Once people started noticing and naming their emotions, they get curious about them. They will then investigate and explore. It’s not uncommon for people to notice anxiety when talking to another person whom they perceive to be more knowledgeable than themselves.
3. Need to learn
As we grow, we will gradually realise that we need more and more skills to sail through our lives to pass the new hurdles we meet along the way. This will make us realise the need to learn.
4. Interest to learn
Over time, as our life experiences add on and we come into contact with more new things around us, an interest to learn will slowly developed and inspire us to learn more.
5. Consequences/Results of learning
When the ‘Cause and Effect’ syndrome comes into play in some point of our lives and people start to reap some benefits from their previous learning regimes, they will realise the good consequences or results of their learning. Hence, if they love these consequences and wish to continue enjoying them, they will be motivated to continue with their learning journey.

Another important factor of Social and Emotional Learning is the power of Peer Pressure. The sense of belonging to a group is a strong pulling factor to motivate one to learn and stay as a member in the group in whatever accomplishments the group is set to achieve.

The most precious gift of teaching is to inspire a life-long love for learning in the learners. This “love” can only be cultivated by close relationships build up over a substantial period of time through trust between the parties involved.

After all, the human race is a social being of which most if not all of us cannot bear to live alone as a society outcast. Hence, as long as we have the sense of belonging in the community we live in and aspire to adhere to the social norms therein, group conformity will continue to motivate us to learn and advance as earth’s most intelligent being for many more years to come!

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