Singapore University of Social Sciences

Children’s Social and Emotional Learning

Children’s Social and Emotional Learning (ECE302)


ECE302 builds child development theories (moral, psychodynamic and psychosocial aspects) to help students understand the importance of supporting young children’s emotional intelligence and social skills through methods that promote character development as well as social and emotional learning. Students will explore child agency and pedagogical issues in the light of more recent understanding of how biology, emotion and intelligence work together to influence human success and happiness.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY REGULAR SEMESTER


  • Emotional intelligence and social-emotional development across the early years
  • Moral development, psychosocial development and psychodynamic theories, and their pedagogical implications
  • Defining social and emotional learning (SEL)
  • Approaches and models for building young children’s social and emotional foundations for early learning
  • Integrating SEL into a child’s life, supporting their transitions
  • Responding constructively when children are angry, anxious or negative
  • Building an inclusive, responsive and relational community in the centre/classroom
  • Encouraging friendship and agency
  • Mixed-age interactions
  • Setting up an inviting pretend play space and ways of facilitating child-initiated play
  • Catering to children with additional needs (e.g., using picture cue cards and social stories)
  • Listening to children through regular classroom meetings

Learning Outcome

  • Discuss the importance of paying attention to children’s emotional intelligence and social skills
  • Compare key milestones in typically developing infants’, toddlers’ and pre-schoolers’ social skills and emotional development
  • Discuss theories in the light of child observations (e.g., Kohlberg’s moral development and Erikson’s psychosocial stages)
  • Based on theories, propose strategies to support all age groups
  • Observe an infant, a toddler and a pre-schooler in a childcare or kindergarten setting, and interpret the child’s social emotional growth and learning in relation to the theories
  • Implement strategies to support a particular child’s social and emotional learning
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