At John Winthrop one of the major components of our curriculum is social and emotional development and learning. Social and emotional development is truly the cornerstone of school readiness and future social and academic success. More and more research (see recent article in the Boston Globe) is showing what we at JWS have known all along – an early emphasis on social and emotional development and learning supports healthy cognitive, physical, and language growth.

Social and emotional development and learning is based upon five components:

  • Self-awareness (The ability to accurately recognize one’s emotions and thoughts and their influence on behavior.)
  • Self-management (The ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations.)
  • Social awareness (The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures, to understand social and ethical norms for behavior, and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.)
  • Relationship skills (The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups.)
  • Responsible decision making (The ability to make constructive and respectful choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on consideration of ethical standards, safety concerns, social norms, the realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and the well-being of self and others.)

We support children’s self-awareness by encouraging them to express their feelings, providing language for their experiences, and encouraging them to persist on tasks that are difficult. We support children’s self-management skills by establishing consistent routines, respecting and recognizing their feelings, and helping them learn to be problem solvers. Children’s social awareness skills are nurtured at JWS as they become part of a community, see themselves as part of a larger network of love and relationships, and develop an appreciation of different cultures. At JWS relationship skills are fostered through supported peer interactions, uninterrupted play, and opportunities to talk about others’ points of view. Finally, we support children’s responsible decision making by giving them opportunities to lead play experiences, have “jobs” in the classroom, and make choices about their learning.

For more information about Social and Emotional Learning and Development we recommend these websites:

Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning

Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning

Zero to Three

Department of Early Education and Care (EEC)