Timing SEL

Q: At what age can students begin to learn skills that can help them improve their EI?

A: Children begin to learn these skills from the moment of their first interaction with another human being. The mirror neuron system, which mimics in our own brain what we observe in another person’s movements, emotions and intentions, lets infants map on their own brain what they see others do – they start learning how to be a human being. With language toddlers get another key tool in learning social-emotional skills – and gain the ability to talk to themselves about it. By the time a child enters school she is a master at learning these basic human abilities. But these lessons must be delivered over and over as kids grow, in ways that are developmentally appropriate.