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Why is it important for the school to concern itself with children's social and emotional development? Examine ways in which this could be attempted.

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Why is it important for the school to concern itself with children's social and emotional development? Examine ways in which this could be attempted. In light of the current climate and the pressure on schools to improve standards, it may seem a strange question to ask. However it is such a fundamental issue that it is not only important but also vital for the school to concern itself with children's social and emotional development. This duty is now no longer an option. The aims of the National Curriculum as set out in the1988 Education Reform Act states that a school's curriculum should: "promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society." (Kyriacou,1995)(p.18) Before elucidating on this question, it is important to know exactly what is meant by social and emotional development. Daniel Goldman defines 'Emotional Intelligence' as an ability firstly to understand why we behave the way we do and secondly to control those actions that are inappropriate to the situation. It is also the ability to empathise and understand the emotions of others (Goldman 1996). Hence, the ultimate aim in this area with regards to child rearing is for a well-balanced and centred human being. ...read more.


For the opinion that others have of a particular person and their reaction to that person will affect the way in which that person performs. Parents and teachers therefore hold a great responsibility. Within the classroom there are three forms of social interaction with the individual, which contribute to the whole socialisation of the child. These are interaction with the individual and the teacher, interaction with the whole group and the teacher and finally interaction of the individuals with each other. If the child is treated as worthwhile and an important human, this helps the child develop a positive self-image. Through his research Stanley Coopersmith has shown self-esteem to be a better indicator than intelligence tests results as to a child's future academic success. He also found that children were affected by the environment in which they were raised. Those reared in an environment, structured by definite controlled limits tended to develop more self-esteem than those brought up in a more permissive atmosphere. (Borba1978) Erikson, on the other hand, believes that we have different stages of personal maturity (Fontana 1988). In total, he identifies seven stages from early infancy to late adult. If an individual progresses through these various stages without being thwarted, then the result should be a clear picture of what a well-balanced mature person should be like. ...read more.


However this time offers the teacher ample opportunity to praise not only for work well done but also for good efforts and good presentation; the list is endless. The praise offered as long as it is sincere will raise a child's self-esteem. The plenary session is also used, in my experience, as a questioning session to assess the children's understanding of the learning objectives. As well as correct answers there are inevitably those that are incorrect. Failure can sometimes deflate a child's self-esteem. This type of situation has been handled well by teachers during my observations. Children have not been criticised but rather they have been 'consoled' with phrases such as "Not quite, but well remembered from yesterday " and "nearly there..." Children have to learn that it is all right to make mistakes. In line with Bandura's theory, children may also learn that we all make mistakes from observing their teacher's. I have observed during a guided writing session a teacher making spelling mistakes, which have been pointed out by the brighter pupils. The teacher has admitted to the mistake and asked how they can check on the spelling. Children were nominated by the teacher to find the correct spelling in the dictionary. Using the teacher as a role model the children will learn that we are not infallible and that it is fine to make mistakes. Lorraine Kilbride - 1 - ...read more.

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