The model describes dynamic, interactive ways of being that exist in three layers -- identity, awareness, and navigation and three dimensions -- ways of feeling, ways of relating to others, and ways of doing.
We developed the model out of conversations with thought leaders who recognized the need for a teaching tool that could equip practitioners, parents, and youth with a shared conceptual understanding of social and emotional learning. We built upon a variety of frameworks that name and organize the skills and areas of social and emotional learning. Our model places more emphasis on how an individual's identity shapes who they are as social and emotional learner. We also place greater emphasis on the doing or task-oriented aspects of social and emotional learning, in part because they are often a focus of out-of-school time programs.
The dimensions represented in the Ways of Being model are ways of feeling, ways of relating, and ways of doing:
- Ways of Feeling. This includes all the skills, experiences, and capacity a person has to identify and make sense of their own emotions. Researchers use terms like self-awareness, self-management, intrapersonal skills, emotional competence, and self-regulation. Practitioners might also include concepts and skills like being reflective, confidence, emotional maturity, or self-control.
- Ways of Relating. This includes the skills youth need to understand and navigate their interactions with others and develop relationships. Social awareness, relationship skills, interpersonal skills, or social skills all fit easily into this area. Practitioners might also include empathy, connectedness, belonging, and caring.
- Ways of Doing. This includes skills to approach tasks and achieve goals. This area has drawn significant attention from researchers and leaders in the field. Think of terms like growth mindset, mastery orientation, and responsible decision-making. Practitioners work to support the development of grit and perseverance, along with the skills of goal-setting, critical thinking, planning for success, and resilience.
- Ways I Am. Identity includes the attitudes and beliefs youth have about themselves in relation to their feelings, relationships, and goals. You might think of sense of character, agency, motivation, hope, self-efficacy, or even cultural identity.
- Ways I am Aware. Cultivating awareness of one's feelings, other people's needs and emotions, and goals informs youths' sense of self, as well as their ability to effectively navigate ways of feeling, relating, and doing. Skills like self-awareness, social awareness, and goal-setting all exist in this layer.
- Ways I Navigate. Youth use navigation skills to determine how to manage their emotions, interact with others, and overcome challenges to meeting their goals. Navigation skills include things like self-management, self-regulation , problem solving, time management, teamwork, and conflict resolution.
- Start a conversation about social and emotional learning
- Align the tools that you are already using, and
- Identify areas where you can improve the intentional support of social and emotional learning.
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