04 SES 03 B, Social, Emotional and Intercultural Competencies as a Tool for Building Inclusive and Non-Discriminative Societies: The role of education
Several large-scale research projects have contributed with evidence about the importance of social emotional learning (SEL). But, supporting teachers’ development of professional competencies regarding the implementation of SEL-approaches in the classroom can be crucial for these potential affordances (Durlak, 2016). Targeting the need experienced internationally for building respectful and inclusive school environments there is furthermore a call for research and development focusing on intercultural competence as a generic competence for all students requiring a focus on both teachers’ pedagogical competencies and their critical transcultural awareness, skills and attitudes (Blell & Doff, 2014). The Hand in Hand programme for school staff (a whole-school approach: Jennings & Greenberg, 2009) has been developed informed by a research review condensing central aspects concerning successful implementation, and school staff’s development of professional competencies in the particular field of supporting students’ social, emotional and intercultural (SEI) competencies. The review included a systematic search in three databases ERIC, PsycINFO and Teachers Reference Centre finally identifying 36 papers for a full text study. Five major themes were identified in the iterative analytical process of condensing key-points in each paper combined with a narrative thematic synthesis across papers (Gough, Oliver & Thomas 2017). First it was concluded that intercultural competence is not often referred to in the same research as social-emotional learning, though socio-emotional aspects appear to be “in the core” of intercultural/transcultural competence. Secondly, when implementing a SEI-program it appears to be crucial to be aware of agency among school staff. Successful implementation is about much more than the activities in the specific program and in the third theme a range of elements in synergy in professional learning over time are emphasised. So, the subtle balance between adaptation at the particular school and fidelity might best be addressed in an adaptive curriculum emphasizing active ingredients (theme 4). Finally, the analysis across papers suggests that teachers in general believe that social emotional competencies are important and many studies report about perceived positively changes from specific professional development programs (e.g. Buchanan et al. 2009). But, this is a field with many intervention studies, and it is urgent to consider if the psychometric measures are sufficiently sensitive to catch the subtle and complex changes related to SEI-competencies and professional learning among school staff. The findings from the review will be used to present an overview of and discuss the design of the specific Hand in Hand program now being implemented.
Blell, G. & Doff, S. (2014). It takes more than two for this tango: Moving beyond the self/other-binary in teaching about culture in the global EFL-classroom. Zeitschrift für Interkulturellen Fremdsprachenunterricht, 19, 77–96. Buchanan, R., Guledner, B.A., Tran, O.K. & Merrell, K.W. (2009). Social and emotional learning in classrooms: a survey of teachers’ knowledge, perceptions and practices. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 25(2), 187–203. Durlak, J.A. (2016). Programme implementation in social and emotional learning: basic issues and research findings. Cambridge Journal of Education, 46(3), 333–345. Gough, D., Oliver, S. & Thomas, J. (2017). An introduction to systematic reviews, 2nd edition. London: Sage. 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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