Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off one whole year of Unlimited learning. Subscribe for just £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

Viewpoint of a teacher

Watch this video in which Lisa Watson, a middle years teacher, shares her perspective on adolescent social and emotional wellbeing.

Before you watch the interview with Lisa Watson, a middle years teacher, first read about the categorisation of social and emotional skills into sets of competencies.

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) 1 has categorised social and emotional skills, into five interrelated sets of competencies. A brief definition and the key skills that make up each set are outlined below.


Being self-aware means having the ability to reflect on and to accurately identify one’s emotions and thoughts and to recognise how these emotions and thoughts can influence behaviour. It is also recognising personal growth (physical, cognitive, social, and emotional) and change and making adjustments to ensure continued connectedness with others.

Key self-awareness skills

  • self-reliance
  • self-esteem
  • self-efficacy
  • self-belief
  • the ability to shape your own life and the world around you


Self management means being able to recognise and regulate emotions, thoughts, and behaviours appropriately in a range of different contexts. It also includes being able to manage stress, being able to set and achieve a range of personal and academic goals, and being persistent.

Key self-management skills

  • self-discipline
  • self-management
  • self-motivation
  • concentration
  • having a sense of purpose
  • persistence
  • self-control

Social awareness

Social awareness encompasses having empathy and considering the feelings and perspectives of others, being non-judgemental of others, and being assertive when necessary.

Key social awareness skills

  • self-awareness
  • reflecting
  • self-regulating
  • self-accepting
  • good communication—explaining, expressing, presenting, listening, questioning, using different ways of communicating

Relationship skills

Having good relationship skills means being able to initiate, establish, and maintain positive relationships with others, including those from diverse backgrounds. Relationship skills also include communication skills, negotiation skills, conflict management skills, as well as being able to seek and offer help when needed.

Key relationship and leadership skills

  • motivating others
  • valuing and contributing to teams
  • negotiating
  • establishing positive relationships
  • interpreting the emotions of others
  • managing conflicts
  • empathising

Responsible decision making

Responsible decision making is about being able to make flexible and responsible decisions, and problem solve through a process of weighing options and considering the consequences.

Key responsible decision making skills

  • imagining alternative ways of doing things
  • applying learning in new contexts
  • enterprising and innovating
  • remaining open to new ideas
  • good planning and problem solving—navigating resources, organising, setting and achieving goals, decision making, researching, analysing, critical thinking, questioning and challenging, evaluating risks, reliability

Your task

Watch the video and then reflect on Lisa’s perspective.

What key skills from the CASEL list does Lisa touch on when asked about social and emotional wellbeing in young adolescents?

Share your reflections in the comments.


  1. Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). 2013 CASEL guide: Effective social and emotional learning programs—Preschool and elementary school edition [internet]. Chicago: CASEL; 2012 [cited 2018 Aug 12]. 75 p. Available from: 

This article is from the free online

Supporting Adolescent Learners: Social and Emotional Wellbeing

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now