Are Empathy & Learning Correlated?

Empathy comes naturally to humans. The human brain has mirror neurons that allow humans to recognize another person’s emotions by actually “feeling” them. Critical human traits from caring for the young to social bonding to activism can be traced back to empathy. But, recent studies have also shown a strong correlation between learning capacity and empathy. This is a development that schools should take note of and utilize to improve the climate in the school. Here is how empathy improves cognitive abilities and hence the propensity to learn.

Reduces Stress

Empathy counters stress. When students understand others and feel that they are understood, it creates a positive environment. They do not get into meaningless arguments or feel judged, and hence, do not feel stressed.

Stress is negatively correlated with brain development. It affects the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for memory, reasoning, and self-control. Therefore, it naturally has an effect on the learning abilities of a child.

Creates a Thriving Learning Environment

Empathy is a precursor to good behavior. Empathetic students do not bully and make others suffer. They also do not stand in the corner while others get bullied. They stand up to bullies and help others in raising their voices. No wonder that empathy leads to positive peer relationships, less conflict among students, improved communication skills, and holistic development of students.

On the other hand, students who do not develop empathy are unable to understand others, which can be linked to negative behaviors like interpersonal conflicts, aggression, emotional problems, and more.

A school that encourages learning empathy creates a safe and fertile environment for every student. Each student is then able to express themselves and grow up to realize their potential.

Maximizes Teachers’ Efficacy

Students and teachers are both equally important participants of the school system. Learning in a school can be effective only if its teachers are effective. A school that encourages empathy not only helps its students but also its teachers as well. Empathy helps a teacher be a better instructor. It helps the student understand what the teacher is trying to convey. So, it can be inferred that empathy is as good a teaching aid as any, and hence a potent tool for learning.

Can Empathy be Taught?

While all humans have it in them to be empathetic, only a few can or do actually practice it. Like any other skill, empathy can indeed be taught, but it requires practice. Empathy can unlock the dormant potential of a school. Schools should teach programs like SEL Adventures at school so that their students can learn more and excel in life.

Learn more about how SEL Adventures can teach students empathy by logging on to https://sel-adventures.com/en/programs/



How Teachers Can Build Empathy in their Classrooms?

Empathy helps students to evolve into thoughtful and helpful individuals who contribute to society. It encourages students to learn more, work better in teams, and steer clear of bullying. Empathetic children are confident in their own skin, so they ask more doubts in class, talk to more people, enroll in extracurricular activities, and develop into wholesome individuals. With such widespread benefits, teachers naturally want their students to acquire this invaluable skill, and here is how they can do it.

Creating Opportunities to Learn

Teachers should think of activities beyond the classroom to build empathy. A personal experience is going to be a much more impactful educational experience than reading tens of books. Teachers should take their students out more often so that they can meet individuals from different walks of life. This will help them understand the fact that life is much more than what they experience at home and school. It will humble them and help them understand life from different perspectives.

Structured Programs

Structured programs like SEL Adventures are a huge help to teachers in the endeavor to teach their students empathy. These programs include complete lectures on helping students understand the nuances of empathy, how it is an important skill in life, and how students can cultivate it. SEL Adventures also includes practice activities to help students visualize and learn quickly. Such programs make learning fun. In these activities, students will actively attempt to learn empathy as the opportunity to experience it is presented to them in an exciting way.

Leading By Example

Leaders across the board understand the importance of leading by example, and the same applies in a classroom environment as well. Teachers should become more empathetic in their approach to students. They can do so by understanding the problems of their students, demonstrating compassion, and keeping a positive attitude. This will provide them the much-needed role models they need to get inspired from to learn empathy.

Highlight Similarities & Differences

Teachers can help students find similarities within their groups. They can help them understand that we all share many similarities despite our differences. Students should understand and learn to discuss differences in a safe environment. Individual and group differences should be interpreted as rich opportunities to learn an entirely new perspective. Students should be taught to seek people who are ‘different’ from who they are and learn from them instead of running away from them. This is a powerful technique that will give way to empathy.

Empathy is a skill that everyone should learn. It leads to a more evolved classroom, school, and eventually, community. Teachers have always been an instrument of change in society. They should use one or more of these strategies to help their students develop an empathetic mindset – a mindset that will help them grow to be emotionally intelligent and successful in life.

Teachers can find out more strategies and techniques to teach empathy to their students from https://sel-adventures.com/en/programs.


How Can SEL Help Develop Both IQ and EQ?

Social- emotional learning helps in developing the emotional quotient, which helps students in creating a healthier environment for learning more and improving IQ.

A recent study across US schools brought out startling results. Students and educators in schools were asked how they would describe their time in school.

Students answered – Tired, stressed, and bored

Educators answered – Frustrated, stressed, and overwhelmed

The survey was conducted across 22,000 students and 6,000 educators in the United States by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. It is clear that the current style of learning is not boding well for students or the teachers. It cannot lead to a healthy or an optimum learning environment. The pressure to do well in school is taking its toll on everyone. Social emotional learning is a part of the solution that can help to improve the school environment by improving both the IQ and the EQ among students. Here’s how.

Increased Awareness

Social-emotional learning helps students understand their emotions and of those around them. When they feel bored, they can actually look inward and find the reasons for it. This kind of exercise will help them build self-awareness. This is the first step to developing a higher EQ. When they know the root cause of their boredom, they can either eliminate it or find something that actually interests them. When they focus all their energy on something they enjoy learning, it will help them look at problems differently and find innovative solutions. This will help them hone their problem solving skills and their IQ.

Being Empathetic

Social-emotional learning does not only help students to be aware of their emotions, but also become sensitive to the non-verbal cues that people around them show. With empathy, they will be able to develop positive peer relationships. Such positive peer relationships will also encourage them to come to school regularly and provide them an avenue to share their feelings as well as ideas. They do not need to feel stressed anymore. With such a healthy environment at school, they will learn more academically too.


As their positive peer relationships at school multiply, they will learn to work in teams. Irrespective of the task at hand or the difficulty of the impending exams, they will never feel overwhelmed. The social emotional learning has helped them to create a support system at school which always has their back. This is the kind of support that will take away undue pressure from their mind and help them perform well.

Social-Emotional Learning is Critical for Students

Social-emotional learning directly helps in improving the EQ of the students and indirectly has a positive impact on their IQ as well. SEL Adventures has created targeted programs for middle schoolers to help them develop social and emotional skills that will not just help them do better in school, but help them succeed in their careers, relationships, and other spheres of life.


Part II: How SEL Adventures Allows Teachers To Implement SEL Effectively?

Schools that identify the critical nature of social and emotional learning can conveniently make it a part of their curriculum with a comprehensive offering from SEL Adventures.

Schools host the most formative years of a child. Naturally, anyone who wants to bring a sustainable change in American society wants to transform the school curriculum. Multiple groups are pushing for reforms in the education system to promote critical thinking, diversity, empathy, and other positive traits in children.

These proposed improvements to the American Schooling System are individually and collectively trying to achieve the end result of making the children smarter, more responsible, and caring. Many education reformers, parents, and teachers already recognize this. Social-emotional learning (SEL) can help them achieve all three objectives. That’s why it should be an active and important part of the school curriculums and SEL Adventures makes it convenient for schools to make that addition. Here is how SEL Adventures allows teachers to implement SEL effectively in schools.

Easy Classroom Instructions

Social-emotional skills are teachable and can be best taught using active learning techniques. Interactive sessions created by SEL Adventures make a classroom more involved in an SEL exercise. These sessions offer the flexibility to the teachers to guide the sessions as they deem fit. SEL Adventures also provides training guides to make it simpler for the teachers to combine them with their teaching pedagogy.

Gamifying the Experience

Positive reinforcement is a well-known driver for learning. SEL Adventures makes it easier for teachers to incentivize the children every time they fare well. The gamified learning is engaging, fun, and most importantly, rewarding. With such a system in place, the teachers only need to lead the sessions. The reward system will make sure that the children continue to learn the social and emotional skills proactively.

Tracking the Performance

Teachers find it more effective to implement SEL through SEL Adventures because they are able to see quantifiable results at the end of the sessions. The system generates complete reports that include the progress of the students and their achievements during the program. This allows them to clearly identify students who need more attention in the classroom and the areas that need more attention.

Making the Right Choice

Teachers are the primary point of contact for the students to learn anything new at the school. So, SEL Adventures has created programs that are not only easy for the students to understand but also incredibly convenient for the teachers to instruct. This creates a positive environment for learning where teachers are more effective, and students are interested in what is being taught.