14 Dec 2006

SEAL - Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning

The SEAL guidance contains this:

"Most primary schools and settings are clearly doing much to promote social and emotional learning already as a key aspect of their school or setting culture. They may do this through the whole-school environment, the Foundation Stage personal, social and emotional area of learning and the Key Stages 1 and 2 PSHE/Citizenship curriculum,1 their approach to spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, the framework of the National Healthy School Standard (NHSS), or through the opportunities they provide for art, music and drama. Or they may be promoting children’s development through other initiatives such as circle time, self-esteem approaches, peer mediation, and commercially available schemes that specifically teach social, emotional and behavioural skills. In addition many schools and settings provide extra support for children whose behavioural, social or emotional development is of concern."

So it's Ok for children to learn "spiritual, moral, social and cultural development", but if politicians mention it in the context of single mothers, cohabiting couples, or any other adult group shown by research to be more likely to be associated with poor outcomes than married couples, is it simply a case of 'nanny state' interfering? What's wrong with giving adults the chance to engage in "spiritual, moral, social and cultural development" if they missed out at home or at school?

"The development of skills such as being able to defer gratification, take responsibility for one’s own actions, understand and deal with peer pressure, act assertively, feel positive about oneself and manage an increasingly complex range of feelings......"

Can the development of these 'skills' - what about 'values'? - be explored with adults who wish to learn about them without journalists and politicians pontificating about retrograde steps to Victorian values? There is much humbug in the supposition that what children are expected to learn should not also be understood by adults.

1 comment:

Ben Trovato said...

Interesting stuff! The fact that the government and all public agencies shy away from anything that might be presented as 'stigmatising' adults who indulge in behaviour or lifestyles likely to harm their children is a real concern. It rather gives the lie to their education attempts too - as they will not actually teach any morality, merely 'values clarification.' Dr. William Coulson used to be the no 2 to Carl Rogers who was at the vanguard of all this stuff. Coulson subsequently recanted and spent much of his time warning parents about the psychological and moral dangers of modern Sex Ed Programmes. Worth a look.