SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Much of the disaffection with the school system stems from a pervasive feeling that the intense focus on formal academics has inadvertently neglected the rest of a child’s personality and humanity. While employers, psychologists and other researchers have repeatedly noted that social and emotional skills like empathy are some of the most important ones for success, many schools still lag in developing effective programs to nurture those soft skills.
Societal norms posit girls as being more emotionally intelligent than boys, but the subtle ways that teachers and parents reinforce that gender stereotype can harm boys, who need to learn empathy as an important life skill for connecting with others, problem-solving and developing moral courage.
Many of these interpersonal skills develop naturally when children have the opportunity to play together in unstructured environments, but free play is on the decline both in schools and at home. Researchers are now even questioning if lack of free play in students’ lives could be partly responsible for rising rates of depression among youth.
Via Gust MEES