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Social Emotional Learning Essay

1266 words - 5 pages

This article is about social-emotional learning and how it can potentially benefit kindergarten students. This study’s purpose was to consider kindergarten when promoting social and emotional learning in schools. Since relatively few studies have been conducted in the kindergarten classroom, this study examines the effects of the Strong Start curriculum for kindergarteners in this setting. This curriculum tests the competence of sixty-seven kindergarteners in both social and emotional areas. This curriculum consists of ten lessons that were taught by four different teachers in four different classrooms. In the end, the results indicate that students increase their social skills, and the curriculum decreases their natural instinct of internalizing behaviors.

The ideas of this article intrigued me because of the information presented in the beginning paragraphs. This article elaborates upon how important the ability of being able to distinguish between positive and negative emotions is. Through the faces presented in the start of the article, I learned that affective development “generally precedes cognitive and behavioral development, as children experience emotions and react to them long before they are able to verbalize or cope. However, social and emotional competencies do not unfold automatically; rather they are strongly influenced by the child’s early learning environment” (Kramer, Caldarella, Christensen & Shatzer 2010). As an educator, I feel as though this is a pertinent piece of important information. Oftentimes students will view school as their safe-haven, and, with all the struggles that they are facing at home, emotions are let loose in the wrong ways. This social-emotional learning program reportedly helps students to channel their emotions appropriately, as well as provide them with safe alternatives to bottling up their feelings. This article stresses that children who repeatedly misjudge and misread emotions are often shunned by peers if they act upon their misconceptions. This form of rejection can further damage the student’s ideas about emotions, and rejection usually convinces the child that it is necessary to internalize any type of emotional problem. Internalizing these issues can then lead a student to suffer from anxiety and depression (Kramer, Caldarella, Christensen & Shatzer 2010). This can occur in children of all ages. Internalizing problems has also been shown to impose a great burden on the child’s mental health.
The author uses the statistical data provided by the results of the social-emotional learning curriculum to prove how this could help students in a kindergarten classroom. While reading this article, I began to think about just how emotional children are at this age. I cannot possibly count the number of times that I have consoled a distraught, crying kindergartener. The way that kindergarten-aged students cope with emotion varies greatly from the emotional coping mechanisms used by...

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