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Secondary SEAL: Background

Why is there an interest in SEAL?

An interest in social and emotional aspects of learning (SEAL) is nothing new, but in recent years there has been an explosion of thinking and research in this area, which has resulted in far more attention being paid to social and emotional skills in education, in the workplace and in society as a whole. Gardner (1983) developed the idea that there are many ways to be intelligent, including being intelligent about our own emotions (intra-personal intelligence) and those of others (interpersonal intelligence). Goleman (1996) popularised the term ‘emotional intelligence’ in his book of the same name and made the case that emotional and social abilities are more influential than conventional intelligence for all kinds of personal, career and school success. Since this book appeared in the mid-1990s, work has developed at an extraordinary pace, in psychology, neuroscience, education and other disciplines. This work has demonstrated, from a variety of perspectives, that social and emotional skills are at the heart of positive human development, effective social groups and societies, and effective education.