School-based social emotional learning (SEL) programmes first emerged in North America and have gradually become an important component of early childhood education across the globe. In view of the nature of social-emotional competencies being inherently embodied and culturally responsive, the authors have proposed a bioecological and embodied framework for the development and implementation of a SEL curriculum, as shown in the figure below.
Following CASEL’s Framework for Systemic Social and Emotional Learning, they emphasized that the design of any SEL curriculum or program should consider the culture and adopt situated and embodied learning in order to allow children to be able to develop SEL competencies that are transferrable to or applied in other contexts, such as at home or in the community. As different cultures have differences in values, beliefs, and norms or customs, the interactions, behaviours, and engagements considered to constitute social competence might vary across cultures. They proposed to take an emic approach in which culture-specific values, beliefs and customs are taken into consideration to drive the development and implementation of a SEL curriculum.
The authors highlighted two practical and policy implications for creating culturally responsive SEL programmes:
- Avoid a one-size-fits-all approach. Attention should be paid to sociocultural and historical contexts in the design, implementation and assessment of a SEL curriculum and programmes.
- Avoid direct transfer and forceful introduction of Western-based curricula into a specific culture. Combine the indigenous ways of learning and consider the backgrounds and needs of the children, families, and communities that are being served.
Hayashi, A., Liew, J., Aguilar, S. D., Nyanamba, J. M., & Zhao, Y. (2022). Embodied and social-emotional learning (SEL) in early childhood: Situating culturally relevant SEL in Asian, African, and North American contexts. Early Education and Development, Latest Articles. https://doi.org/10.1080/10409289.2021.2024062