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SEL and Beyond with ECSEL

Social Emotional Learning for Early Childhood Education Starts with ECSEL

The most sought-after skill for the 21st-century workforce is emotional intelligence

We know that true successful social-emotional learning must start from birth. We also know that the critical link for lifelong learning, mental health, and well-being is emotional intelligence. Comprehensive early childhood SEL programming integrated throughout all classroom contexts and throughout the daily curriculum is rare—and even more rare starting from birth.

Social and emotional learning (SEL), according to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), is an integral part of education and human development. SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.

At Housman Institute, we aim to provide the best SEL solutions in early childhood education, and we develop the research-backed and evidence-based ECSEL model to re-define SEL in early childhood education.  Emotional, Cognitive, and Social Early Learning (ECSEL) is a process of supporting children from birth in gaining knowledge about emotions in themselves and others. Children learn that behaviors and emotions are connected, impacting one another in the heat of the moment. When caregivers use emotional situations as teaching opportunities, it builds children's neural pathways to reinforce learning, diminish stress and anxiety, and communicate effectively, promoting character development, empathy, resiliency, and the ability to process and learn about the world around them for lifelong mental health, well-being, and academic success.

ECSEL provides the building blocks of emotional intelligence from the beginning, all day and every day. It is critical that educators are trained to guide their students in regulating and managing their emotions and those of others. In addition, educators—as key socializers and role models—also need to be trained in how to best manage their own emotions.

Research in neuroscience has shown the outcomes and benefits of developing the skills of emotional understanding, literacy, and regulation from the start and integrated throughout the day, every day. This happens within the context of relationships, both at school and at home, and expands far beyond the outcomes achieved with SEL alone. So it’s critical that educators are trained to guide the students in regulating and managing their emotions and those of others.

Children who have the tools of emotional intelligence can:

  • Self-regulate
  • Develop prosocial behaviors
  • Identify and support their own emotions and those of others
  • Develop critical thinking skills to problem solve and create a plan
  • Be empathetic and understanding of others

As children grow and learn into adulthood, they carry these skills forward to help them achieve:

  • Professional satisfaction and success
  • Healthier relationships
  • Empathy and understanding
  • Personal growth and satisfaction
  • Mental and physical well-being

See begin to ECSEL in action

We are raising the next generation at a time of extraordinary stress, anxiety, bullying, intolerance, and lack of empathy. Teachers and parents alike are struggling every day not only with the behavior, emotions, stress, dysregulation, and worries of the children they care for but also their own."

      ~ Dr. Donna Housman, Founder and CEO

Housman Institute has devoted over 30 years in research and practice building our evidence based Emotional, Cognitive, and Social Early Learning (ECSEL) approach.

ECSEL uses "in the heat of the moment strategies" and age appropriate developmental tools to promote emotional intelligence in children 0-8.

We also recognize that teachers often do not receive the needed training to support emotional intelligence in children and in themselves. It is our mission that all teachers have the tools and techniques not only to support their students’ emotional intelligence, but also their own, in all contexts, all day and every day.

By reaching children in the earliest years, we have the opportunity to set our children up for success—and we move toward achieving equity by giving ALL children the key tools needed for personal, academic, and career success.

Discover begin to ECSEL