Exsel: Emotional education experience at school

  • 2015

New York, USA

Excellence in Social and Emotional Learning, EXSEL, is a pilot project that has been implemented in five schools in the Public School District No. 2 in New York City. The day EXSEL began to be implemented, nobody imagined the relevance of these lessons after S-11. The following article gathers the experience of the Chilean Mauricio Miraglia, who works on this project from the Teacher College of Columbia University.

New York, September 10, 2001. Dawn. An Ecuadorian boy, José, is on his way to PS6 school. Upon entering he greets fellow Lin, Asian, and then enters Language and Communication classes.

Unlike other times when she has had to open her book and take notes, the teacher asks them to draw a flag, the flag of her family. The boy starts shyly. Then he gets excited; The 20 minutes the teacher gave her have passed without realizing it.

While making his flag he thinks of his father, his mother, his sisters. Those who are with him and those who stayed in his country ... In general, students talk and exchange their flags.

The teacher celebrates the work and ... the communication and interaction that has begun in her class. In the next room they teach History. The teacher, along with his colleague and also a counselor or "counselor", tries to get children to untie a human knot, they cannot speak ... they only have their gestures and facial language to solve how to free one from the group.

These children are learning to live together, to communicate better and more deeply, they are talking about feelings, successes and failures. The most surprising thing is that all this happens immersed in the curriculum: in the History class, in Language, Mathematics, in Science and in all its subjects from Kinder to 5th grade.

We are facing the project Excellence in Social and Emotional Learning (EXSEL), of the Public School District No. 2 of New York City.

Funded with federal funds, EXSEL has trained more than thirty teachers to implement a program that teaches emotional skills and strategies, the five emotional and social skills inserted in the existing curriculum.

Research in the area of ​​social and emotional intelligence demonstrates that it is possible to develop a better sense of community and obtain better academic results "when we pay attention to the emotions and interactions of our children." This is solidified by the coordinated work of teachers, parents, children and counselors.

The primary objective is that the child, along with his parents, teachers and his entire school community, learn to relate better to himself and others. As simple as it sounds, but the project is considered a pioneer within the United States.

EXSEL seeks to insert itself into the curriculum, especially in the areas of Social Sciences and Language between Kindergarten through 5th Basic. But the implications of the model go further.

In practice Holly Atkinson, one of the mothers actively involved in the project finds that it is exceptional to have the ability to reinforce and solidify what children learn in their home now at school and within the curriculum.

Renny Fong, a teacher at PS 130 in Chinatown, says that at first it seemed strange, unnatural, to teach about emotions. However, after a short time, and after attending preparation workshops, he began to apply the EXSEL program in his class. I say it has helped him to be a better teacher, to establish better interpersonal relationships with his students and with himself in the classroom.

Karen Mildener, project advisor, tells how a teacher came to the room and seeing that the students had not done their homework she challenged them, and told them, I am very upset with you. Then a little girl raised her hand and replied: You are not angry with us, rather you feel frustrated!

Source : http://www.educarchile.cl/

Source : https://andreamartelsotomayor.wordpress.com/

Exsel: Emotional education experience at school

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