What is Real SEL? (Part I of the Real SEL series) | Anabel Jensen | 4 Min Read

This is Part I of a three-part series on Real SEL. Part II will address how one develops SEL skills and Part III will tackle how one retains those skills under a variety of circumstances.

The answer depends on whom you are asking. An administrator might respond with, “SEL is a school curriculum on specific course material for teaching social and emotional skills.”  A parent might state,” SEL is a program for helping my child build and maintain friendships.”  A teacher might define SEL as “a class held once a week for students to learn to self-monitor and self-manage their internal feelings.”  A researcher might describe SEL as “a set of tools for improving the learning environment.”  A psychologist might get very specific and say the following, “Emotion has a substantial influence on the human cognitive processes in humans, including perception, attention, learning, memory, reasoning, and problem-solving.  Emotion also facilitates encoding and helps to speed the retrieval of information efficiently” (Chai Tyng, Fafeez Amin, et. al, 2017).  Or, a curriculum developer might describe SEL as, “a set of activities for improving character development or developing a conscience.”  Business writers Cooper and Swarf (1997) might define SEL as, “a set…

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Anabel Jensen

With over 30 years of pioneering work in emotional intelligence education, Anabel Jensen is an inspiring and caring speaker who helps people find the best in themselves and each other. Anabel says people pay attention to less than 30% of what you say, but 70% of what you do, so she models the lessons she teaches. Anabel was the principal of Nueva School when Daniel Goleman came and wrote about the model emotional intelligence program there; under her guidance the school also won two Federal Blue Ribbon Awards for Excellence in Education. She’s started two schools, together with Karen McCown, founded the remarkable lab school educating future change makers: Synapse School. As the Founding President of Six Seconds EQ Network, Dr. Jensen has co-authored four books on teaching EQ, written numerous articles, and trained over 15,000 educators and leaders around the globe. She has taught the principles of emotional intelligence all around the world.