2021-08-05Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1002/aps.1724
Higher expectations of teachers are not sufficient: How to take the next big step in social‐emotional teacher training
Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät
The growing interest in students' social‐emotional development, which is closely linked with the increasing efforts to reduce all forms of violence in schools, is a welcome development. However, if we are serious about furthering students' social‐emotional development with the same fervor as students' academic learning, we must provide teachers with the tools that enable them to meet these growing societal expectations. Most teachers at the secondary level are not trained to further students' social‐emotional development and are still primarily regarded, by themselves and others, as academic knowledge and skills conveyors. As a result, they are not prepared to respond to students' misbehavior and difficult group dynamics in ways that further students' social‐emotional development. Instead, they are forced to apply easy and quick‐to‐learn behavioral conditioning and punishment strategies that only manage behavior. Psychodynamic theory and empirical research suggest important limitations to this approach. Hence, I argue that teachers will be better prepared to meet these growing expectations in their work if they receive support in two ways. One, they need reliable feedback on those aspects of their daily interactions/routines with students that most strongly impact students' social‐emotional development. Student perception survey instruments are a particularly effective approach to collect such feedback, but contemporary instruments too strongly focus on behavior instead of underlying factors that determine behavior. Second, teachers need professional development training that takes into account and builds on such feedback. A particularly promising approach for such training is based on group‐analytic pedagogy.
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