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Embodied and social-emotional learning (SEL) in early childhood: Situating culturally relevant SEL in Asian, African, and North American contexts


School-based Social Emotional Learning (SEL) programs emerged in North America and have not traditionally focused on embodied learning processes that are situated in the learners’ contexts and lived experiences. Thus, we present evidence and advance the case that transferable social-emotional competencies are inherently culturally responsive or situated in learners’ authentic experiences and are inherently embodied. We also introduce a conceptual model grounded in bioecological and embodied theoretical frameworks to help guide future research and practice for culturally relevant SEL. Research findings: We used parts of the scoping review methodology to search and screen the published empirical literature on SEL and embodied learning. Findings highlight the increase in SEL research over the past 2 decades but with extremely limited work done outside of North America, particularly in Japan and South Africa. Consequently, we explored what culturally responsive, situated, and embodied SEL would look like across three different cultural contexts (i.e., in North America, Japan, and South Africa). (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Literature Review
United States; Japan; South Africa

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