A healthy democracy requires that kind of resiliency and vitality. All schools should be dynamic places grounded in the practices of democracy. But first they must care about the inner lives of their students and adults — emotionally, socially and cognitively but not one at the expense of the other.
Here are six things they can do:
- Pay more attention to the social context of schooling and less on the summative. We have reams of research to corroborate the absolute importance of relationships.
- Scaffold opportunities to be exposed to and experience direct contact with the world.
- Use art experiences to engage and activate social action projects.
- Become deliberate and articulate in naming the attributes and skills of social and emotional intelligence.
- Be thoughtful. Mirror mindfulness and reflection in one’s daily interactions. Have moments of silence during school days.
- Network with other schools involved in social and emotional learning projects.