The socioemotional content of school is important

5 Oct

Moi wrote in College readiness: What are ‘soft skills’
Whether one calls success traits “emotional intelligence” or “soft skills” is really not important. The traits associated are those more likely to result in a successful outcome for the student.

Margaret Rouse defines “soft skills” in the post, Soft Skills:

Soft skills are personal attributes that enhance an individual’s interactions, job performance and career prospects. Unlike hard skills, which are about a person’s skill set and ability to perform a certain type of task or activity, soft skills are interpersonal and broadly applicable.
Soft skills are often described by using terms often associated with personality traits, such as:
o optimism
o common sense
o responsibility
o a sense of humor
o integrity
and abilities that can be practiced (but require the individual to genuinely like other people) such as:
o empathy
o teamwork
o leadership
o communication
o good manners
o negotiation
o sociability
o the ability to teach.
It’s often said that hard skills will get you an interview but you need soft skills to get (and keep) the job.
http://searchcio.techtarget.com/definition/soft-skills
https://drwilda.com/2012/11/14/college-readiness-what-are-soft-skills/

K-12 education must not only prepare students by teaching basic skills, but they must prepare students for training after high school, either college or vocational. There should not only be a solid education foundation established in K-12, but there must be more accurate evaluation of whether individual students are “college ready.”

Kathleen M. Cashin and Bruce S. Cooper commented in the Education Week opinion piece, Remaking Schools as Socioemotional Places:

How can students engage in the learning process if they feel isolated, a condition that affects many students and teachers alike? For teachers are often working in isolation. And students, when they stare at computers all day, are hardly interacting with teachers or peers.
A homeless student, Marlene, a junior in a large urban public high school, told one of us (Kathleen) her feelings about online learning in her school: “I didn’t like it. All the kids weren’t really doing anything. It was all ‘read a passage and answer the questions.’ It was very boring, and I was very upset.” Marlene had been shifted to a classroom where instruction was computer-based because her regular classroom teacher felt Marlene was too disruptive in the traditional class. But Marlene found the experience isolating, “like being in a shelter. I missed interaction with my teachers.”
“Schools have lost much of their full, rich, active curriculum in their rush to teach basic English and math.”
Tragically, many schools are becoming test-preparation factories where the human, interpersonal side of learning gets lost in the urgent routine of identifying test needs, problems, and distractions from achievement, for the sole purpose of improving “test results.” Often, this tendency comes in tandem with computer-based learning rather than the more personal pupil-teacher relationship.
The joy, love, caring, and fun of being a child in a classroom have been diminished by the need to raise test scores, at all costs.
We argue for the reinstatement of the socioemotional dimensions of education—what was once called, in the educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom’s words, “the affective domain,” where teachers built into a lesson and the curriculum the human feelings, needs, and aspirations of their students, along with the cognitive demands of the learning experience.
Children should be asked what their point of view is and what it could be—how they would feel if, for example, they adopted the perspective of a struggling heroine in a story. Kids must also be encouraged to connect with one another—and the text—to start determining what’s true and real. This process of identifying and understanding is sometimes called critical thinking.
Thus, cognitive learning must be coupled with human, social, and emotional experiences, as they all go together. And schools must link the socioemotional with the cognitive by making these two changes:
1. Reinstate teaching and learning as the primary activity in schools. Children in such an environment would be encouraged to communicate, take challenges, and even learn to take risks without fear of failure and humiliation. In Ellen Galinsky’s 2010 book Mind in the Making, she writes that “Sad + Mad = You Can’t Add” is just another way of saying that children’s emotional status greatly affects their ability to learn….
Dropped or diminished in these program are classes in the arts, physical education, vocational-technical education, and some hands-on sciences and social studies. These courses are disappearing because they are not included in testing and, consequently, have become less valued.
2. Ensure that online learning does not supplant teacher and student interactions in the classroom. Online learning is here to stay, as it allows students to move at their own pace and drill down in areas of interest.
Online learning is everywhere and can reach even those students who cannot or will not come to school. However, it has several potential disadvantages, including: removing or minimizing the human interactions that are important to real learning; taking the joy and camaraderie out of education; isolating and limiting students’ voices and involvement; and making education lifeless and dull.
We believe that cutting costs, constricting classroom life to memorization and test preparation, and replacing human contact with online interaction hurt the growth and learning of the whole child, turning education into a “bucket to be filled” and not “a fire to be kindled,” to paraphrase a famous saying.
We must take the steps above to stop the decline of real education and to build the ability of schools to meet the socioemotional needs of our children and their teachers once again. And when cost-cutting policies are being implemented, programs for the neediest children cannot be first on the chopping block.
The key is to bring school leaders and the staff together, in an exciting, focused way….
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/10/02/06cashin.h33.html?tkn=YUCCmOYaREWJwyDohNbI9M2DnLCeBLLJXpdH&cmp=clp-sb-ascd

The Child Development Institute describes the stages of Stages of Social-Emotional Development by Erik Erikson:

Erikson’s Eight Stages of Development
1. Learning Basic Trust Versus Basic Mistrust (Hope)
Chronologically, this is the period of infancy through the first one or two years of life. The child, well – handled, nurtured, and loved, develops trust and security and a basic optimism. Badly handled, he becomes insecure and mistrustful.
2. Learning Autonomy Versus Shame (Will)
The second psychosocial crisis, Erikson believes, occurs during early childhood, probably between about 18 months or 2 years and 3½ to 4 years of age. The “well – parented” child emerges from this stage sure of himself, elated with his new found control, and proud rather than ashamed. Autonomy is not, however, entirely synonymous with assured self – possession, initiative, and independence but, at least for children in the early part of this psychosocial crisis, includes stormy self – will, tantrums, stubbornness, and negativism. For example, one sees may 2 year olds resolutely folding their arms to prevent their mothers from holding their hands as they cross the street. Also, the sound of “NO” rings through the house or the grocery store.
3. Learning Initiative Versus Guilt (Purpose)
Erikson believes that this third psychosocial crisis occurs during what he calls the “play age,” or the later preschool years (from about 3½ to, in the United States culture, entry into formal school). During it, the healthily developing child learns: (1) to imagine, to broaden his skills through active play of all sorts, including fantasy (2) to cooperate with others (3) to lead as well as to follow. Immobilized by guilt, he is: (1) fearful (2) hangs on the fringes of groups (3) continues to depend unduly on adults and (4) is restricted both in the development of play skills and in imagination.
4. Industry Versus Inferiority (Competence)
Erikson believes that the fourth psychosocial crisis is handled, for better or worse, during what he calls the “school age,” presumably up to and possibly including some of junior high school. Here the child learns to master the more formal skills of life: (1) relating with peers according to rules (2) progressing from free play to play that may be elaborately structured by rules and may demand formal teamwork, such as baseball and (3) mastering social studies, reading, arithmetic. Homework is a necessity, and the need for self-discipline increases yearly. The child who, because of his successive and successful resolutions of earlier psychosocial crisis, is trusting, autonomous, and full of initiative will learn easily enough to be industrious. However, the mistrusting child will doubt the future. The shame – and guilt-filled child will experience defeat and inferiority.
5. Learning Identity Versus Identity Diffusion (Fidelity)
During the fifth psychosocial crisis (adolescence, from about 13 or 14 to about 20) the child, now an adolescent, learns how to answer satisfactorily and happily the question of “Who am I?” But even the best – adjusted of adolescents experiences some role identity diffusion: most boys and probably most girls experiment with minor delinquency; rebellion flourishes; self – doubts flood the youngster, and so on.
Erikson believes that during successful early adolescence, mature time perspective is developed; the young person acquires self-certainty as opposed to self-consciousness and self-doubt. He comes to experiment with different – usually constructive – roles rather than adopting a “negative identity” (such as delinquency). He actually anticipates achievement, and achieves, rather than being “paralyzed” by feelings of inferiority or by an inadequate time perspective. In later adolescence, clear sexual identity – manhood or womanhood – is established. The adolescent seeks leadership (someone to inspire him), and gradually develops a set of ideals (socially congruent and desirable, in the case of the successful adolescent). Erikson believes that, in our culture, adolescence affords a “psychosocial moratorium,” particularly for middle – and upper-class American children. They do not yet have to “play for keeps,” but can experiment, trying various roles, and thus hopefully find the one most suitable for them.
6. Learning Intimacy Versus Isolation (Love)
The successful young adult, for the first time, can experience true intimacy – the sort of intimacy that makes possible good marriage or a genuine and enduring friendship.
7. Learning Generativity Versus Self-Absorption (Care)
In adulthood, the psychosocial crisis demands generativity, both in the sense of marriage and parenthood, and in the sense of working productively and creatively.
8. Integrity Versus Despair (Wisdom)
If the other seven psychosocial crisis have been successfully resolved, the mature adult develops the peak of adjustment; integrity. He trusts, he is independent and dares the new. He works hard, has found a well – defined role in life, and has developed a self-concept with which he is happy. He can be intimate without strain, guilt, regret, or lack of realism; and he is proud of what he creates – his children, his work, or his hobbies. If one or more of the earlier psychosocial crises have not been resolved, he may view himself and his life with disgust and despair.
These eight stages of man, or the psychosocial crises, are plausible and insightful descriptions of how personality develops but at present they are descriptions only. We possess at best rudimentary and tentative knowledge of just what sort of environment will result, for example, in traits of trust versus distrust, or clear personal identity versus diffusion. Helping the child through the various stages and the positive learning that should accompany them is a complex and difficult task, as any worried parent or teacher knows. Search for the best ways of accomplishing this task accounts for much of the research in the field of child development. http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/child-development/erickson/

Moi wrote in The ‘whole child’ approach to education: Many children do not have a positive education experience in the education system for a variety of reasons. Many educators are advocating for the “whole child” approach to increase the number of children who have a positive experience in the education process. https://drwilda.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/
In order to ensure that ALL children have a basic education, we must take a comprehensive approach to learning.

A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood ©

Resources:

Linking Social Development and Behavior to School Readiness
http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/child-development/erickson/

Social and Emotional Learning
http://www.edutopia.org/social-emotional-learning

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

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COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

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http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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