Strengthening Social and Emotional Education as a core curricular area across the EU

Carmel Cefai, Paul A. Bartolo, Valeria Cavioni, Paul Downes
NESET Analytical Report, 2017

Many children and young people in contemporary Europe are unfortunately coming to school carrying heavy social and emotional burdens, among them: poverty and social inequality, bullying and cyberbullying, family conflict, consumerism, media exploitation and technological addiction, academic pressure and stress, etc.

Policymakers and educators across the world are increasingly coalescing around a specific approach to address these many challenges, namely, social and emotional education (SEE). SEE is intended for children to develop competences in both self-awareness and self-management, and to raise social awareness and improve the quality of their relationships. These skills combined improve the ability of children to understand themselves and others, express and regulate their emotions, develop healthy and caring relationships, empathize and collaborate with others, resolve conflicts constructively, enable them to make good, responsible and ethical decisions, and overcome difficulties in social and academic tasks. SEE is something that school should offer all children, including those affected by various forms of disability.