Embracing Social and Emotional Learning in K-12 Schools and Higher Education during the COVID-19 pandemic

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  • Yetkin Yildirim Rice University
  • Emine Tunc Harmony School of Endeavor
  • Nausheen Hossain
  • Ambreeen Haq
  • Arkasama Bandyopadhyay




social and emotional learning, student performance, communication, digital divide


In the spring of 2020, educational institutions in the United States switched to online education due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This learning transition has hampered education productivity and negatively impacted social and emotional learning (SEL) in the classroom. Social and emotional learning typically refers to five areas of competence: self-confidence, relationship skills, social awareness, self-management, and responsible decision-making. Lack of SEL is likely to impede student social and emotional development, which can lead to poor performance both inside and outside the classroom. To prevent this, many classrooms are trying to increase student SEL in a variety of ways, including interactive workspaces and online discussion forums. This shift to SEL learning within the virtual learning environment has placed great amounts of stress upon educators as they learn to adapt to this atmosphere. Promoting SEL should be a matter of importance even within remote learning as disruptions brought by COVID-19 can prove damaging to the emotional and mental health of both students and teachers. Providing teachers with professional SEL training and forming organizations within school districts that are solely responsible for effective SEL implementation can aid this purpose. Finally, SEL is not only beneficial in K-12 education but also in higher education. Through SEL, college students are provided with a variety of life skills that prove to be imperative as they progress through their educational journeys.


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How to Cite

Yildirim, Y., Tunc, E., Hossain, N. ., Haq , A. ., & Bandyopadhyay, A. (2021). Embracing Social and Emotional Learning in K-12 Schools and Higher Education during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eurasian Journal of Higher Education, (5), 54–62. https://doi.org/10.31039/ejohe.2021.5.58