CEDAR SCHOOL PHYSICAL EDUCATION, HANOVER, MA
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) through Cedar School Physical Education
“The most important attitude that can be formed is that of the desire to go on learning.”
The feelings and emotions that result from achieving a personal best on a one mile run, receiving a compliment from a coach or teammate after a game, performing a dance for an appreciative audience, or hitting a curve ball for a two base hit make physical activity enjoyable and motivate students to participate regularly in physical activity. The feelings and emotions that result from being made fun of for dropping or being hit by a ball, failing to do a pull up while others watch and tease, or being the last person picked for a sport prohibit participation in physical activity.
Students have an inside self and an outside self. We observe some social/emotional behaviors such as: students showing respect for others, positively experiencing content, being actively involved in learning, and supporting and helping others. Other behaviors cannot be observed as clearly: feelings, dispositions, values, attitudes, and self-perceptions.
Educators use the affective domain of learning as an umbrella term that can include student feelings, interests, emotions, desires, attitudes, appreciations, commitment, will power, dispositions, morals and values. These emotions and feelings are complex, hard to measure and difficult to teach. Affective behaviors all influence how learners respond to themselves, the teacher, each other and learning experiences. Affective learning is also known as social/emotional learning (SEL).
The social and emotional learning that schools often desire cannot be passed from teacher to learner in the way information is transmitted. Nor can students achieve them in the manner in which they achieve cognitive learning targets. Feelings and emotions are almost always the consequence of success, failure, tasks accomplished or not accomplished and so forth.
Organizing Social/Emotional Learning Targets
Educators often describe social/emotional learning with terms such as rules, discipline, behavior and so forth. Social and emotional learning is more than having students follow classroom procedures. It helps students assume more responsibility for learning, their well being and the well being of others. Psychologists and educational theorists (see reference list below) have organized social/emotional behaviors into the following frameworks
Employers look for social and emotional behaviors such as dependability, punctuality, reliability, the ability to work productively in groups, and to contribute with ideas and sustained effort. All of these behaviors can be developed in schools.
When students are learning these behaviors it usually occurs in the following sequence: reception, response, valuation, organization and internalization. Reception is defined as being willing to attend to an idea or stimulus such as listening to instructions. A learner who chooses to follow instructions or act in accordance with rules describes response or responding. Valuation is when a student assumes responsibility for behaving in a prescribed manner. Organization occurs when the learner puts together several values together and integrates behavior. Finally, internalizations is when a student maintains harmony between values and behavior independently.
The social/emotional learning goal for physical education is:
Students will become more responsible for learning.
They will have achieved this goal when they:
This goal is measured a checklist (rubric).
A time for reflection allows students to evaluate how personally and socially responsible they were for a given physical education lesson. Here, students reflect on and evaluate their attitudes, intentions and behaviors in regard to social and emotional levels on the rubric below. Students use a rubric (similar to the one below) to see how far they need to go and to describe how well they respected the rights and feelings of others, their involvement in learning experiences, and their level of commitment to improving themselves and others.
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