Biology of human brains provides substantial justification for the use of SEL in high school. One argument for implementing SEL in preschools and elementary schools is that children’s brains are developing most at this age. This is in fact true, the brain has already reached 95% of its full capacity by the time an individual reaches six-years of age. However, it is important too to consider that there are several key sections of the brain that actually develop most drastically in adolescences and later teenage years. Teenagers are incredibly impressionable and their brains are at a vulnerable point in development (Dahl, 2006). At this point brains are developing at a rapid pace. The last part of the brain to develop progresses significantly in an individual’s teenage years is the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. This critical segment of the brain is responsible for controlling impulses and making decisions (Lenroot, 2006). Since this is such a critical time for developing key skills that will heavily impact a teenagers adult life, it is only reasonable that schools should address SEL topics such as decision making and impulse control in relation to students’ emotional and social behaviors. Teaching students how to use their own judgment, and think critically about their actions, can help shape students’ work ethic and moral behavior at a time when these parts of their brains are particularly malleable.
It is because of the biological state of high school students’ brains that using SEL to reach students and combat specific issues is so particularly powerful. Helping students understand their emotions and manage feelings of stress and anger in effective ways can help prevent high school students from experimenting with drugs and...
... middle of paper ...
...an prevent a range of issues when enforced and taught over time.
As more research is performed on the topic of social emotional learning the more evidence points to the idea that SEL can be extremely impactful and valuable to students. It is important that when schools decide SEL programs or practices are worth implementing they do not merely place SEL standards in younger grades. There are countless benefits of SEL that are specific to high school students and it would be detrimental if SEL continued to be thought of as solely an early-childhood education practice. Ultimately, even incorporating SEL in minor ways such as having teachers engage in meaningful conversations and asking students simple questions like, “how are you”, can have a huge impact on not only a student’s academic success but also their emotional wellbeing and social skills through adulthood.
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