Today, a major theme in both education and the workforce is collaboration. In fact, it is considered one of the 4Cs -- the core skills for 21st century learners to develop, along with critical thinking, communication, and creativity. Moreover, collaboration is consistently listed in the top 3 character traits employers seek in new hires. This has surfaced a need for educators to teach students how to work together effectively, both online and face-to-face.

SEL has helped leaders define and incorporate strategies into existing curricula to develop students’ ability to work with others. In fact, when students are taught the foundations of SEL -- which includes the ability to manage their emotions, establish and maintain positive relationships, and more -- they are equipped with the skills to collaborate with others effectively and have the ability to learn from each other’s unique experiences, as well.

In the new book, Building People: Social-Emotional Learning for Kids, Families, Schools & Communities, contributor Sean Slade writes, "Industry has been telling us again and again that problem-solving, creativity, communication, teamwork, and collaboration are the important 21st-century learning skills that students need..." To make sure students enter the workforce with the skill set necessary to succeed, educators are tasked with providing opportunities for students to learn, identify, and practice such skills. SEL equips students with the ability to engage in meaningful shared experiences together, which is critical for effective collaboration.

Collaboration is among the most “real” of real-world skills. If group work is presented without contextualization, students may not grasp just how much of a lifelong skill they are developing. In the 21st century economy, those who can collaborate can thrive. Intentional SEL delivery is one way to develop it!

Interested in learning more about SEL? Grab your own copy of Building People: Social-Emotional Learning for Kids, Families, Schools & Communities to hear from a diverse group of nationally and internationally renowned researchers, practitioners, and thought leaders whose collective body of work addresses multiple facets of SEL and its successful implementation in numerous relevant contexts. The book is now available through Amazon for immediate download or printed copy.