Needles to say how the virus has affected among students and taken lives since the past one year, creating a havoc throughout the entire world while turning the world upside down.
Thus the entire world called out and declared it a pandemic leading to shutting down of livelihoods with the closure of schools, colleges, offices, markets, malls. The entire class of human kind was locked indoors and the ever rushing rat race came to a stop.
The lack of preparation towards such a huge health emergency caused uncertainty and apprehension among people. It has impacted people from different phases of life – students, teachers, businessman, workers, doctors etc. However this piece of write up solely focuses on the the transition that took place in the education system where the students faced mental distress and concern towards an unprecedented circumstance.
Cancellation of schools, exams, from exchanging physical energy, face to face interaction had now shifted to a less engaging, virtual mode of learning and interaction. School students have been through a lot in making up with this adjustment that came alongside the paradigm shift.
With the sudden closure of closure of schools and void in human interaction, apart from education, students socio emotional growth also stopped. While now adapting to the new normal, schools and colleges happening online, classes have become monotonous with less interaction and participation among students and teachers.
Talking about transition and change, difficulties faced by educators in making students understand and teach concepts in online mode have been a challenging one. Students are not well equipped with paying attention and understanding something through a screen without any activity involved.
Social Emotional Learning in Education:
Social Emotional Learning if imparted in both online and offline school, alongside academics , will develop self growth among students and put students on equal footing to succeed. In between all the rat race and competing for academic achievement, less attention is paid to their individual differences, different level of understanding capacity and becoming the better version of self.
In the modern world, definition of success has changed from the usual quantitative and academic evaluation. Today it is seen more of as emotionally and socially capable to understand one’s own feelings, emotion, managing them, developing empathy and applying to build intrapersonal relationships. This is what is called as Social Emotional Learning to yield successful and accomplished individual in the future.
Social Emotional Learning however implemented both before and after covid , have the similar amount of relevance in the education scenario. Therefore, with the distance in human interaction and shifting to the virtual world, it is not possible to expect teaching and learning to occur without attending to our emotions.
With everything going in and around us, and dealing with all the uncertainity, panic, stress, it is important to first notice and address the emotions that a student and teacher goes through with every passing day, still managing to carry on with their duties, responsibilities and class works. Educators can understand the needs of the students better with SEL and make learning more personalized and impactful.
This would involve more student participation. By using real life examples and setting short term goals for students better performance and productivity can be seen.
SEL Core Components:
With extensive research and findings it has been concluded that SEL comprises of the 5 core components that can be applied to both online/offline education to achieve positive outcomes.
Self awareness comes with the ability to identify oneself in terms of one’s own needs, motives, goals, decisions, physical, emotional, personality ,strengths , weakness , and their impact on the behavior and every other aspect of the individual domain. Self Management – Being able to manage self and one’s own emotions.
A person can monitor their behavior and as well as of others. While Social Awareness comes alongside when people are receptive about others feelings and show empathy i.e feeling exactly like the other person feels. This foster maintain good interpersonal relationship with peers and teachers and enhance decision making.
SEL works best for all the levels namely primary , middle and high school , if implemented along with the standard academic curriculum, will call for not only academic, but holistic development of the individuals. From the traditional way of teaching and education which focused on the grading system, evaluation, projects etc, using an integrative approach with SEL will put students on equal footing, helping each other socially in terms of challenges .
SEL not only adheres to just the teaching methodology, but the teacher student equation which is one of the most relevant part of the education system is also uplifted in terms of yielding better adult –student interaction and brainstorming viewpoints, perspectives in a room where learning takes place.
How do educators and parents play a role in introducing SEL into the system?
Educators and parents can actively take part in implementing SEL and combining it with academics. Role plays, narration, peer interaction, can be helpful. Educators and parents can begin with asking students about their weeks, emotions they feel and how they feel about themselves. The students can be asked to journal their thoughts and emotions on a day to day basis.
However parents can not force or push the child into studying or learning something, and rather begin with modeling how to express , understand and manage emotions for oneself and for others. SEL is more beneficial when it comes to special kids or slow learners and incorporating the concept of “inclusion” in the education system. These children needs to be dealt with patience and requires formal learning techniques so as to make learning meaningful and easy .
Bio – Jahnabi Sharma, Counselling Psychologist.