Schools today are not merely educational institutions; they are a representation of society. Children at school meet and form relationships with schoolmates from diverse social, economic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
As educators, we are committed to teaching our students how to be active members of society from an early age, and how to respect and interact with their peers in a constructive way while not neglecting their academic obligations. Besides, it is true that an optimistic attitude can positively affect all aspects of our lives and determine our studies, our professional career path, and our personal future.
So, how can we foster educational and social learning in the school environment?
Initially, students need to develop self-awareness. In other words, they must learn how to identify their feelings, the reasons that make them feel the way they feel, and their reactions in different situations. When we know our strengths and weaknesses, it is easier to control our actions and to face challenges in a more positive way.
It is also essential that students acquire social awareness, understanding, and tolerance for the world around them. When we show solidarity with people from different backgrounds, we develop a network of support and friendship. We become more sociable and we develop important skills such as adaptiveness. These skills help us coexist with other people and make the right decisions, as we develop a more comprehensive way of thinking and become more considerate when it comes to people’s needs.
Once students acquire all the above skills, their overall behavior will improve, they will develop successful relationships both inside and outside school, and their confidence will be boosted.
by Dora Papapanagiotou, Senior Educational Consultant, hyphen SA