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The social and emotional competencies defined under the SEL framework have been developed by the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) ( The list was developed following examination of an expanse of psychological research.

This popular index is comprised of 38 interrelated skill areas that have been further categorised into five overarching competencies; Self-Awareness, Social-Awareness, Self-Management and Organisation, Responsible Decision Making, and Relationship Management. From amongst the list of 38 skill areas, the following four skill areas are provided to illustrate the construct. They are; recognising and naming one’s emotions (Self-Awareness competency), showing respect for others (Social-Awareness competency), verbalizing and coping with anxiety, anger and depression (Self-Management and Organisation competency), and exercising social decision-making and problem-solving skills (Responsible Decision Making competency).

The SEL framework doesn’t go so far as to tell educators how to teach each of the 38 skill areas that it defines however, it has significantly impacted current trends within education across the world (refn). At large, the framework represents the assigning of value to social learning in schools, a shared language and lens through which to articulate social competencies, and accessible check-list like guidance to support program planning and evaluation. In 2017 the Department of Education and Training (DET) within Victoria released a new curriculum across Foundation to Year 10 and this includes a new ‘Personal and Social Capability’ curriculum. DET have referenced the SEL framework as the evidence based approach driving this curriculum component. The SEL competencies explicated under this new curriculum component are summarised as; understanding emotions, resilience, empathy, understanding and building respectful relationships, and working constructively with peers.  

Social-Emotional Learning Skills (Astrid indicates social skill areas addressed within the Friendship Saver Program (our flagship program)

1. Self-Awareness

- Recognizing and naming one’s emotions*

- Understanding the reasons and circumstances for feelings as one does*

- Recognizing and naming others’ emotions*

- Recognizing strengths in, and mobilizing positive feelings about, self, school, family, and support networks

- Knowing one’s needs and values*

- Perceiving oneself accurately*

- Believing in personal efficacy

- Having a sense of spirituality

2. Social Awareness

- Appreciating diversity*

- Showing respect to others*

- Listening carefully and accurately*

- Increasing empathy and sensitivity to others’ feelings*

- Understanding others’ perspective, points of view and feelings*

3. Self-Management and Organization

- Verbalizing and coping with anxiety, anger and depression

- Controlling impulses, aggression, and self-destructive, antisocial behaviour*

- Managing personal and interpersonal stress*

- Focusing on tasks at hand

- Setting short-and long-term goals*

- Planning thoughtfully and thoroughly*

- Modifying performance in light of feedback

- Mobilizing positive motivation

- Activating hope and optimism

- Working towards optimal performance states*

4. Responsible Decision Making

- Analyzing situations perceptively and identifying problems clearly*

- Exercising social decision-making and problem-solving skills*

- Responding constructively and in a problem-solving manner to interpersonal obstacles*

- Engaging in self-evaluation and reflection*

- Conducting oneself with personal, moral and ethical responsibility*

5. Relationship Management

- Managing emotions in relationships, harmonizing diverse feelings and view points*

- Showing sensitivity to social-emotional cues*

- Expressing emotions effectively*

- Communicating clearly*

- Engaging others in social situations*

- Building relationships*

- Working cooperatively*

- Exercising assertiveness, leadership and persuasion*

- Managing conflict, negotiation, refusal*

- Providing, seeking help*

Casel (2003) 

The SIP Model

The theory underpinning our social learning work is based on The Social Information Processing Model.

The first iteration of the SIP Model was developed by Dodge in 1986 to explain aggressive behaviour in childhood. Crick and Dodge (1994) presented a reformulated model to investigate specific social cognitive processing components involved in all social interactions. This approach provides insights into processing features that differently impact social behaviour, helping to inform intervention.

Crick and Dodge (1994) defined the six steps discretely and described them sequentially to aide conceptualisation of the model, however the steps are said to operate simultaneously, influencing one another. The processing steps are suggested to operate automatically. Crick and Dodge (1994) proposed that when a child is presented with a social situation, six social cognitive processing steps are initiated. The social cognitive processes consist of (1) encoding internal and external cues, with attention directed towards specific cues that are flagged by ones pre-existing social knowledge; (2) interpretation of those cues, including attributing reasons to understand the motives driving someone’s behaviour; (3) clarification of one’s goals (4) access to possible responses from within long-term memory; (5) response evaluation, whereby children establish the ‘acceptability’ of a response, and finally; (6) enacting a response. The steps are informed by social knowledge and memories stored within the database. The model is presented in Figure 1.

Figure 1. The Social Information Processing (SIP) Model (Crick and Dodge, 1994).

This model has been examined extensively, helping to demonstrate the way these skills shape children's social behaviours.

The Friendship Saver Program, and our Dynamic Social Skills Group activities all focus upon building participants SIP skills.