Evidence That It Works
Metacognitive reflection, or the ability to monitor and think deeply about one’s own thoughts and behavior, has been linked to the development of self-awareness, self-regulation, executive functions, and decision-making–all key SEL skills.
Researchers suggest that discussing our experiences with others might actually enhance our metacognition by unearthing our introspective blindspots. Indeed, one study found that humans are better at determining the causes of others’ behavior than their own. This sort of “social metacognition” can ultimately help us to develop a more accurate view of ourselves and the world.
Why Does It Matter?
Helping students make connections is a critical component in learning and applying SEL skills.
Taking just a few moments at the end of an activity to guide students through reflective thinking and discussion about their experience can deepen students’ understanding of SEL skills, and also reinforce the concept that SEL skills have relevance, use, and purpose outside of the classroom setting. In addition, these conversations can increase levels of trust, empathy, and an overall sense of community amongst group members.