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SEL Toolkit: Decision Making

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) fosters the ability to make positive choices about how we behave. On this page of the SEL Toolkit, we link to tools and resources for professionals who seek to strengthen young people's decision-making skills.

Promote Problem-Solving Thinking

There are many simple ways to infuse problem-solving thinking and reflection into program activities:

  • Articulate differences and connections
  • Identify emotions behind actions
  • Brainstorm different approaches or solutions to a task
  • Explore possible consequences
  • Model and articulate decision-making process
  • Reflect on past experiences
  • Evaluate actions - did they meet the goal?
  • Simulate or role play a task

Teaching Problem Solving

Vanderbilt University's Center for Teaching provides tips and techniques for teaching problem solving.

Teaching Problem Solving: Let students get "stuck" and "unstuck"

This Brookings article describes methods for creating a "culture of problem solvers."

Teach Critical Thinking and Decision-Making Skills

Games for Building Decision-Making Skills

Here, Common Sense Education reviews classroom-friendly games for improving students' decision-making and problem-solving skills.

Decision-making and Problem-solving: Class Activity

This activity from Climate Schools in Australia includes a useful worksheet to help a young person think through a decision.

Edutopia: The Benefits of Teaching Ethical Dilemmas

Introducing ethical dilemmas in the classroom can open up opportunities not only for debate and critical thinking, but also for personal growth, empathy for other viewpoints, and self-reflection.

Reflective Group Conversation

This worksheet can be used to guide critical thinking within a group.

SWOT Analysis

This worksheet can be used in a discussion of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.