Reasons Why Social And Emotional Learning Is Important At TIS

Oct 17, 2017

At TIS, we start with the premise that if kids are happy, have a sense of security, cared for and respected, they will LEARN!

Surveys of worldwide student populations show that less than one third of all students believe they are part of a caring, encouraging learning environment. Only half of the students report having competencies such as empathy, conflict resolution, and decision-making skills. The general consensus among educational researchers and teachers is that social-emotional learning (SEL) can help. By strengthening their self-management skills and social support networks, social-emotional learning can help foster students’ well-being and success and to meet challenges in Life.

A 2012 analysis conducted by researchers at Loyola University Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago which involved more than 270,000 kindergarten to Grade 12 students of more than 200 social and emotional learning programs, found that such programs improve students’ attitudes, behaviours and overall academic performance. In an international school setting where many students experience multiple cultural environments, these skills are even more critical to develop and require explicit teaching.

What is Social and Emotional Learning?


What are my thoughts and feelings?

What causes those thoughts and feelings?

How can I express my thoughts and feelings respectfully?


What different responses can I have to an event?

How can I respond to an event as constructively as possible?

3. Social Awareness

How can I better understand other people's thoughts and feelings?

How can I better understand why people feel and think the way they do?


How can I adjust my actions so that my interactions with different people turn out well?

How can I communicate my expectations to other people?

How can I communicate with other people to understand and manage their expectations of me?


What consequences will my actions have on myself and others?

How do my choices align with my values?

How can I solve problems creatively?


At TIS, we have identified that students require more than just academics to succeed. By recognising that SEL requires explicit teaching, we have created dedicated teaching time and programs to address this.

In secondary school, the Teacher Advisory Program (TAP) is a dedicated time for all students to learn these skills. Strands taught include academic honesty, relationships, emotional health, wellbeing, digital citizenship, social media awareness, altruism, leadership and personal growth. The TAP programme is built on a framework of support for all students in secondary school at TIS. The TAP is taught as a dedicated block each week as an integral part of building student character and a sense of self. TIS recognizes the importance of laying the foundations in order for all students to be successful.

In the elementary school, the Moral and Civic Health Education Program (MACE) explicitly teaches younger students to develop the skills of resiliency and self regulation. The Zones Of Regulation,The Virtues Program and Positive Behaviour create a framework for good practice to be modelled.

What are the key SEL competencies that we aim to teach at TIS?

1. Attitude & Behaviour:

Teachers aim to teach students the ability to recognise and manage emotions, establish and maintain positive relationships, set and achieve positive goals, make responsible decisions, and handle interpersonal situations constructively. Students demonstrates significant improvement in social and emotional skills, caring attitudes, and positive social behaviours. Students’ disruptive behaviour and emotional distress declined as well.

2. Academic Performance:

By teaching the skills of resilience and self-management, teachers aim to boost academic performance. Researchers found that students performed better on achievement tests when they are happy to learn.

3. Bullying

Verbal and relational bullying, victimisation by peers and cyberbullying are identified as the greatest cause of student failure in schools. Inclusive education students with disabilities are also targets for student victimization. By improving students skills in communication and to be able to teach students to identify and speak out against bullying, and hence the SEL program is vital in promoting student well being.

4. Self-management

Self-regulation, the ability to control and manage thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, has been linked to academic achievement in numerous studies. Students who set high academic goals, have self-discipline, motivate themselves, manage stress, and organise their approach learn more and get better grades, according to several groups of researchers, including Duckworth & Seligman (2005) and Elliot & Dweck (2005).

Students who use problem-solving skills to overcome obstacles and make responsible decisions about studying and completing homework also fare better academically (Zins & Elias, 2006; cited in Durlak et al., 2011).

5. Communication Skills

Communication is an important personal, professional, and educational skill. Social-emotional learning has been shown to help improve communication in many contexts and equips students to use their words to promote self esteem and personal growth.

We strive to equip students in this holistic model of education, always remembering that if kids are HAPPY they will be open to learning, striving to be the best they can be no matter what challenges that life throws their way!


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