According to The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), Social Emotional Learning is an integral part of education and human development. This process is how all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities and manage emotions. It is how we achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible, caring decisions. The CASEL 5 addresses five broad and interrelated areas of competence and highlights illustrative examples for each: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. The CASEL 5 can be taught and applied at various developmental stages from childhood to adulthood and across diverse cultural contexts. Many school districts, states, and countries have used the CASEL 5 to establish preschool to high school learning standards and competencies that articulate what students should know and can do for academic success, school and civic engagement, health and wellness, and fulfilling careers.
Youth leadership skill development provides young people with the ability to analyze their strengths and weaknesses, set personal and vocational goals, and promote self-esteem, confidence, and motivation. Leadership skill development also helps young people establish support networks to participate in community life fully and affect positive social change. Leadership training includes teaching participants to guide or direct others on a course of action, influence the opinions and behaviors of others, and serve as role models.
Character Education is the process of teaching kids values that are known to lead to a well-rounded human being. Values such as respect, responsibility, compassion, kindness, caring, empathy, and cooperation can build the foundation needed to make positive life choices and engage with others in a way that creates accepting and trusting communities.
Youth development happens wherever youth are engaged in growth, learning, and life. Schools, homes, sporting activities, community programs, and social media are areas where youth development (both good and bad) happens. Youth development researchers and practitioners emphasize that effective programs and interventions recognize youths’ strengths and promote positive development rather than addressing risks in isolation. Young people who are constructively involved in learning and doing and who are connected to positive adults and peers are less likely to engage in risky or self-defeating behaviors.