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A whole issue about #SEL

(V1-2) Teaching the Development of Social and Emotional Competencies

Vol. 1, issue 2 - Winter 2021-2022

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From the Editor's Desk

Warning: Positive Side Effects Ahead!

When we refer to emotional intelligence, what is meant by the terms “socio-affective skills," “social and emotional competencies," or others? The World Health Organization (WHO) defines these competencies as "a set of abilities that enable everyone to adopt adaptable and positive behaviour to effectively meet the demands of daily life." More specifically, we think of the development of empathy, respect for others, the ability to ask for or offer help, the ability to regulate our own emotions and to discern those of others when dealing with different situations.

Education is increasingly interested in this aspect of human development and the past year has shown us just how important this can be.

This is a particularly large field of research that studies something infinitely complex: human emotions. Although we are now able to read emotions by measuring brain activity, there are no less than 27 emotional states in humans, each with subtle variations.

Social and emotional learning (SEL) appeared in the late 1990s, immersing young people into an environment that promotes social interaction. Several methods can be implemented at school, such as roleplay, artistic activities, sensory stimulation, etc. The use of digital tools also advantageously supports this learning.

As can be read in the article Plaidoyer pour une éducation basée sur l’intelligence émotionnelle by Christophe Haag, a professor and researcher in social psychology at EM Lyon, no less than 213 scientific studies involving 270,034 children from kindergarten to higher education have shown that following a program focussed on developing social-emotional competencies ensures that young people "are much more able than those who have followed a standard school course to regulate their emotions, to know how to take their turns, to manage their anxiety, their stress, and to resolve conflicts by negotiating more subtly and skillfully."

In addition, they are more empathetic, can more easily detect emotions in themselves and in others, and are generally more positive and more respectful. They are also less prone to depression and less aggressive and violent. They commit less delinquency, have more self-confidence, assert their leadership more easily, make responsible decisions more easily without fear of failure, and develop a taste for social justice. They also have better academic results than the average…in short, the positive effects are evident!

Here’s the good news: these competencies can be acquired, taught and evaluated. This is precisely the theme we explore in this issue.

Happy reading!

Audrey Miller

Martine Rioux
Managing Editor

Sources : Haag, C. (2017, 23 juillet). Plaidoyer pour une éducation basée sur l’intelligence émotionnelle. The Conversation.
Labelle, A. (2019, 18 juin). Pas moins de 27 émotions chez l’humain. Radio-Canada.
Minichiello, F. (2017). Compétences socio-émotionnelles : recherches et initiatives Revue internationale d’éducation de Sèvres, 76 ; DOI :

December 2021 – Vol. 1 issue 2

Cindy Anderson, Myra Auvergnat-Ringuette, Claire Beaumont, Jason Belzile, Nicolas Bressoud, George Couros, Laurie Couture, Natalie Garcia, Philippe Gay, Vanessa Hanin, Audrey Miller, Tina Montreuil, Alvinie Moodley, Jamie Nunez, Monica Praghamian, Martine Rioux, Shawn Young.

Audrey Miller

Managing Editor
Martine Rioux

Development Director
Stéphanie Dionne

Tracey-Lee Batsford, Audrey Miller

Additional Proofreading
Jody Meacher, Jason Belzile

Graphic Design
Marie-Michèle Bouchard-Roussin, Kate-Lyn Lapointe (EMBLÈME Communication)



Legal Deposit 4th trimester 2021
Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec
Library and Archives Canada
ISSN 2564-2510 (Print)
ISSN 2564-2529 (Online)

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In this issue - Winter 2021-2022

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EngagED Learning Magazine

  What Are Social and Emotional Competencies?

Although social and emotional competencies and their role in human lives are recognized worldwide, there is no universally official definition of them. Emotional intelligence, psychosocial competencies, socio-affective skills, etc.: they have all kinds of names. Over the years, constants have nevertheless emerged, and various benchmarks have materialized.

  Are School Staff Well-prepared?

If we recognize that these social and emotional competencies are transversal and intrinsically linked to school learning, it is clear that they are rarely the subject of explicit teaching at school, even if they are taught as other school subjects (Oliviera et al., 2021; Rimm-Kauffman and Hamre, 2010). Moreover, in order to teach them and reinvest them into everyday school activities, teachers must first have developed them for themselves.

Pointe-à-Callière Museum


  The (Not-So) Secret Life of Emotions at School

Affective or social-emotional competencies play a major role in teaching and learning. However, these competencies are not stagnant: they are competencies that anyone can learn to develop—but not just in any manner! It is in this perspective that developing social-emotional competencies becomes a major subject in teachers’ professional training and educational arsenal.

  Optimizing the Well-being of Teachers for the Better Educational Achievement of Future Generations

Sometimes we seem to be better advised and equipped in matters of financial health than in matters of mental health. At least there seems to be less stigma surrounding the former. In addition, this so-called advice tailored to financial investing, i.e. intended to help you plan and ensure long-term financial stability, can be just as useful to us in a parallel objective: that of maintaining, in a preventive manner, psychological balance.

  How to Integrate Mindfulness and SEL in Entrepreneurship Programs

Here are four ways to support students' social and emotional well-being during the transition from online to in-person learning—each tied to core SEL competencies from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

  4 Ideas to Support Students’ and Families’ Well-being

Here are four ways to support students' social and emotional well-being during the transition from online to in-person learning—each tied to core SEL competencies from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

  Social and Emotional Competencies: How and Why to Report on Student Development

While school-age Québecers are showing signs of anxiety and depression, it becomes essential, both for their academic success and for their well-being, to equip them with the tools necessary to ensure good mental health. Thus, developing social-emotional learning (SEL) is increasingly important. While this is the topic of the day in several countries, such as in the United States, there are still many questions about whether our approaches and programs are having the desired effect. If we need to develop these skills in students, how do we evaluate their progress and offer them appropriate interventions?

  10 Easy Ways to Create an Amazing Classroom Culture

Simple things can make a significant difference in our classroom environments, yet we should be intentional about them. Every year, we should strive to make it the best year students have, and if we all did this, the school would only progressively get better for our students. Below are some straightforward ideas that can help shape a fantastic year for your students.

  Let’s Think About It!

Inspiring quotes suggested by Myra, a primary school teacher. "Have you ever responded sharply to someone for no reason? Or had to take a minute to lock yourself in a quiet place?"

  Our Favourites (Explore New Sites and Apps)

Discover or re-discover various apps and sites ideas!

  For Teenagers, the Internet Helps during Lockdowns—but It’s No Substitute for the Outside World

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the creation—and evolution—of a new socio-technical environment around the world. Lockdowns across Canada spurred an unprecedented surge in online communication as people moved school, work and social lives online.

  The Final Mark

Since 1993, teaching empathy has been an official part of the Danish school curriculum. Every week, students have a one-hour class in which they discuss their problems and look for solutions as a group. They learn to listen, understand and participate without judgment. Two concrete benefits of this program’s implementation is greater respect between the students and less bullying.

References EngagED Learning magazine, Vol. 1 issue 2 (Winter 2021-2022)

A word from US In this article Haag, C. (2017, 23 juillet). Plaidoyer pour une éducation basée sur l’intelligence émotionnelle. The Conversation., A. (2019, 18...

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