Teaching Peace in Elementary School
Photo FOR years, there has been a steady stream of headlines about the soaring mental health needs of college students and their struggles with anxiety and lack of resilience. Now, a growing number of educators are trying to bolster emotional competency not on college campuses, but where they believe it will have the greatest impact: in elementary schools. In many communities, elementary teachers, guidance counselors and administrators are embracing what is known as social and emotional learning, or S.E.L., a process through which people become more aware of their feelings and learn to relate more peacefully to others. Feeling left out? “It’s not just about how you feel, but how are you going to solve a problem, whether it’s an academic problem or a peer problem or a relationship problem with a parent,” said Mark T. S.E.L., sometimes called character education, embraces not just the golden rule but the idea that everyone experiences a range of positive and negative feelings. Dr.
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