If there is one thing that makes common sense in the education system, it is Social and Emotional Learning or SEL along with Character Education. Students have to be well prepared to enter into their careers and see success in life. SEL and character education ensures that. Families, as well as communities, cannot work alone in the overall development of the student, and this is understood by the schools most of the time. Therefore, both SEL and character education is a very integral part of the education system of a child and should be practised ardently. However, in reality, it is not always the case. There are a few myths that are affecting the implementation and progress of character education and SEL. The first step of rectifying the problem is identifying it. Once understood, it is a matter of confronting with teachers, administrators and caregivers to change the education pattern of the warns. This aids in creating the right infrastructure for progress in a sustainable way.
1. It is Not The School’s Responsibility
The truth is, it is not just one part of a child’s developmental routine that should promote SEL and character education. Every aspect that contributes to the development of the child should include some form of education to support the same. It can adversely affect the child’s development of character if there is a break in where their education is promoted. Schools, homes and communities equally play a vital role in SEL and Character Education.
2. The True Purpose of School is Lost
Most parents and schools tend to look at only the mark sheet of the child and fail to tap into the real need of educating and nurturing the emotional and character development. It is entirely untrue that the inclusion of character education and SEL in schools can interfere with the progress of the child. A child who can focus on their development as a character and social skills are better equipped to tackle career and life choices on the whole.
3. The Child’s Personality and Core Values are Already Formed
It is a wrong misconception that a child’s personality is already developed before they reach school. While children are prepared to attend school, it does not mean that their learning stops. The same way a child progresses in math or science, there are levels at which they would be able to understand and grasp the magnitude of the character, social and emotional requirements. Children can, therefore, learn in every aspect as they grow and the constant reassurance and insistence of character education will aid with their development.
4. What Happens in The Classroom Matters
While society and family tend to focus on what the child did in their classes and classrooms, there are several things that a child encounters during a day. Right from home and till they get to school and back, there a few areas that the child witnesses. For example, the playground is one of the most important places, a testing ground, for character education and SEL. Every child should be taught to handle every situation in the right way that is best suited for social and emotional acceptance. Thereby developing a wholistic individual.