04 SES 03 B, Social, Emotional and Intercultural Competencies as a Tool for Building Inclusive and Non-Discriminative Societies: The role of education
The symposium focuses on social, emotional and intercultural (SEI) competencies as an important tool for developing non-discriminative, inclusive learning environments and preserving children’s rights in intercultural and diverse societies. It builds on the importance of SEI competencies for building inclusive societies and to prevent segregation and discriminative bullying by enhancing SEI competencies of all students (including immigrant and refugee students). According to scientific evidence enhanced social and emotional competencies of students result in several positive outcomes: better educational outcomes, better mental health, decreased numbers of early school leavers, improvement in prosocial behaviour, decrease of physical aggression, positive self-image (Bierman, et al., 2008; Durlak et al., 2011; Sklad et al., 2012; Zins, et al., 2004). Teachers’ social and emotional competencies have been recognized as vital for the development of social and emotional competences in students (Schonert-Reichl et al., 2015), for students’ behavioural and academic achievement (Valiente, et al., 2008) and also for students’ learning and development in general as well as for teachers’ own well-being (Jennings & Greenberg, 2009). These studies indicate teachers need to possess relational, social and emotional competences and be equipped with the competencies to adopt inclusive and student-focused methods, including conflict resolution skills to promote a positive classroom climate. At the same time the intercultural competencies and diversity awareness of teachers cannot be assumed and must be prepared at the systemic level (Downes & Cefai, 2016).
The focus on SEI competencies thus offers feasible suggestions for individual and societal developments through education. In a globalising society, these issues must be addressed by an international/intercultural collaboration. The symposium addressed the recognized need for policy intervention across partner EU member states to combat discrimination (especially in relationship to migrations). With the migration population by definition being on the move it is of strategic importance for EU member states to adopt common policies in fostering their socio-economic integration. In the symposium, researches from different EU member states (being part of the HAND in HAND project) will provide international research insights and discuss their research findings about developing SEI competences as an important tool for positive change in the EU society.
As an introduction to the symposium leading theme, we will present an Erasmus+ KA3 European policy experiment project HAND in HAND, which aims to create and apply an innovative HAND in HAND program for SEI competencies development (two separate modules, one for students and one for school staff) as a whole school approach. The HAND in HAND programmes will be evaluated using an experimental design with control groups across four EU countries (Slovenia, Croatia, Germany, and Sweden) and the results will be used for creating the policy guidelines. The focus of the first presentation in the symposium will be on evaluation of the state of the art of the policy documents regarding SEI competencies across five countries: Slovenia, Croatia, Sweden, Denmark, Germany. The second presentation will focus on the mismatch between policy and practice that is reflected in low well-being of students as reflected in PISA study (cross country comparability of well-being is going to be presented). In the third and fourth presentation, specific tools (SEI program for school staff and SEI assessment tools) will be presented with focus on issues of the feasibility of implementation and cross – country comparability.
Bierman, K. L., Domitrovich, C. E., Nix, R. L., Gest, S. D., Welsh, J. A., Greenberg, M. T., ... & Gill, S. (2008). Promoting academic and social‐emotional school readiness: The Head Start REDI program. Child development, 79(6), 1802–1817. Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D., & Schellinger, K. B. (2011). The impact of enhancing students’ social and emotional learning: A meta‐analysis of school‐based universal interventions. Child development, 82(1), 405–432. Sklad, M., Diekstra, R., Ritter, M. D., Ben, J., & Gravesteijn, C. (2012). Effectiveness of school‐based universal social, emotional, and behavioral programs: Do they enhance students’ development in the area of skill, behavior, and adjustment?. Psychology in the Schools, 49(9), 892–909. Zins, J. E., Bloodworth, M. R., Weissberg, R. P., & Walberg, H. J. (2004). The scientific base linking social and emotional learning to school success. Building academic success on social and emotional learning: What does the research say? London: Teachers College Press. Valiente, C., Lemery-Chalfant, K., Swanson, J., & Reiser, M. (2008). Prediction of children's academic competence from their effortful control, relationships, and classroom participation. Journal of educational psychology, 100(1), 67. Jennings, P. A., & Greenberg, M. T. (2009). The prosocial classroom: Teacher social and emotional competence in relation to student and classroom outcomes. Review of educational research, 79(1), 491–525.
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