The ECSEL Standards
The ECSEL Standards were developed with Housman Institute’s philosophy in mind – going beyond SEL to both nurture and support children’s cognitive capabilities, as well as their social and emotional skills, from birth. Cognitive skills including executive function, working memory, self-regulation, asking questions, and problem-solving are all important components in the overall ECSEL philosophy, and play a crucial role in helping to strengthen children’s emotional intelligence. Housman Institute has developed 7 core ECSEL Standards based on our foundational emotional, cognitive, and social early learning philosophy:
Definition: Children’s ability to recognize and identify different emotions. As children develop their emotion knowledge, they will begin to recognize and identify facial expressions that represent different emotions in themselves and in others. Emotional identification is one of the two quadrants of emotional intelligence that makes up emotion knowledge.
Definition: Children’s ability to understand their emotions and the emotions of others. As children develop their emotion knowledge, they will begin to understand the differences between and among emotions, be aware of emotions, and be able to discern emotions accurately. Emotional understanding is the second of the two quadrants of emotional intelligence that makes up emotion knowledge.
Definition: Children’s ability to express their emotions accurately and constructively. Emotional expression is one of the two quadrants of emotional intelligence that make up emotion regulation.
Definition: Children’s ability to manage and cope effectively with heightened emotions, both positive and negative. Emotional regulation means managing our behaviors, feelings, and thoughts. Without emotional regulation, it is difficult to learn. Emotional regulation is the second of the two quadrants of emotional intelligence that make up emotion regulation.
CAUSE & EFFECT
Definition: Children’s ability to understand the causes of their emotions and how their emotions impact their behaviors. When children are able to understand the reasons behind their emotions and the effect they can have on their behaviors, they can develop key social-emotional skills such as self-awareness, perspective taking, relating to others, and the ability to be empathetic and understanding of others.
EMPATHY AND PROSOCIAL SKILLS
Definition: Empathy can be defined as the ability to understand how another person might be feeling and respond sensitively. Prosocial behaviors are the acts of helping, comforting, sharing, and cooperating with others for their benefit. Inclusivity means acknowledging, understanding, and respecting others from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and contexts to provide learning experiences that allow students to thrive. These are all critical in supporting the positive development of children’s identity and sense of self.
Definition: Children’s ability to recognize and identify a problem or conflict and use environmental cues and the building blocks of emotional intelligence to ask for help or manage the problem/conflict with or without support. For infants and toddlers, this can look a lot like imitation of behaviors (teacher/caregiver and peer), taking initiative (grabbing a toy, arguing), and emotional identification. For preschool age children and older, this relates more to their ability to recognize social and ethical problems, or recognizing when they need help.
The ECSEL Standards align with CASEL, Head Start, NAEYC, and Massachusetts SEL standards, while also going above and beyond by including social, emotional, and cognitive skill development that can be supported by educators within each standard.
Developmental milestones for children from infancy through pre-kindergarten are also included within each of our seven standards so educators can meet any child where they are and support their social, emotional, and cognitive early learning from birth.