Still under working process . . .
During the pandemic, children were forced to take classes in an online setting. After weeks and months of staring at the screens and not interacting with peers in-person, they weaken the ability
to interact with others and face challenges expressing their feelings and understanding how others feel. Children and adults (parents) also undergo stress and anxiety. We can assist children in
coping with this challenge through Social Emotional Learning (SEL).
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is defined as the ability to manage to learn through regulating one's emotional feelings and interacting with peers. The children's cognitive and affective domains are involved in this learning process. SEL strategies can be divided into five categories, i) guide children to know themselves, identify their potential (self-awareness); ii) self-regulate, be open to constructive critics and suggestions, be resilient (self-management), iii) be aware of their relationships among friends, including people who are different from them (social awareness); iv) construct healthy relationships (relationship skills); and v) make wise decisions within themselves and with people around them (responsible decision-making) (CASEL, 2022).
Daniel Goleman (1995) defines Emotional Intelligence (EQ) as knowing what one and those around them are feeling and handling those feelings skillfully. The fundamentals of emotional intelligence are self-awareness, management of emotions, motivation, and impulse control. Ely (1991) defined emotion as reactions that involve strong feelings such as love, fear, peacefulness, happiness, joy, sorrow, regret, anger, or fear. Emotions are an involved chain in a person's physiology, affecting behavior, bodily expressions, and facial expressions.
Gardner (1983) defined intrapersonal intelligence as the ability to look into oneself in the way others see us, particularly aware of one’s emotions, fears, and desires. According to Goleman (1995), self-awareness helps us to know what we feel. Self-awareness is the gut sense that we use to make decisions. This skill guides children to discover themselves, identify their potential, and recognize their strengths and weaknesses.
To create self-awareness, children should explore different activities and find their hobbies to form their identities. Hobbies can help children express their emotions and strengthen their perceptions of other views. Even doing well in school is critical, by exploring their hobbies that are not school-related activities can help them build their confidence and build their own identities.
Weirien (1995) said that studying music is a kind of emotional education. Music cannot teach us to have feelings; instead, it teaches us about our feelings. Music is an excellent tool to help students to explore their emotional feelings.
Self-management is about self-regulation, being open to constructive critics and suggestions, and being resilient when achieving goals.
In Leonard Sax: "The Collapse of Parenting." (year?), the author mentioned, among the below five points, which factor can predict an 11-year old will be a happy and healthy person 20 years later:
The answer is self-control.
Impulse control is defined as the ability to delay impulse in attaining a goal. During the pandemic, children are stuck at home. Without socializing with peers, exercising, and playing outdoors, they can easily trap in a sad mood and depression. If children are taught to reinterpret a situation more positively, cooling down to defuse anger can foster the management of feelings.
During the lockdown, children did not have the usual freedom and could not access to many things they used to have in daily life. This is the time parents should teach children about delayed gratification. By having delayed gratification, children learn to wait to get the rewards. It takes time to get the result; those who are patient are the ones who get the treasure.
Families and schools may continue to provide activities that can attract their interests during this time. Children will build a resilience attitude to make things better by doing something they like. By structuring routines in children's lives, we help them structure their daily lives, and thus children will need to learn when to do things when they are supposed to. Parents and schools may set weekly goals to help children recognize the goals they need to achieve in the short term. By laying out the plans, students will learn to be organized in learning and manage their daily lives.
Practicing musical activities have become a daily routine among the children. Setting a routine provides a sense of safety and predictability among young children. Children learn to reflect on their playing instruments, singing, and moving in the videos. By constantly receiving feedback and accepting the challenge to improve their performance, children build a resilient attitude and increase self-esteem through playing and singing. This is an excellent way to instill the mindset of delayed gratification.
Music is believed to be a positive, vital instrument that can help people deal with feelings. We can release our tension by singing, playing instruments, and listening to music. We can let go of our frustration, anger, and depression because the feelings are flowing and not sticking in the heart. Motivating students' participation in the classroom will help them look forward to the music activities, thus making the learning process more exciting and meaningful.
3. Social Awareness
Social awareness is regarding the relationships among friends, including people who are different from them. Children must first know who they are and value themselves before appreciating and respecting others; this includes self-image among friends and schoolmates. In addition, students need to recognize self-cultural ethnic identities. This is especially among people who have different religious and cultural celebrations. School teachers and parents guide them to identify the similarities and differences and build a sense of self-awareness when interacting with peers to reflect the diverse cultures in their communities.
Music classes offer an opportunity to the families and children to place their energy on building positive interactions and experiences. Multi-cultural music that reflects children’s identities can help them develop their self-consciousness, self-esteem, and healthy relationships with families, siblings, and friends (even across long- distance). When meeting classmates who need support and help, they are proactive in giving helping hands. They learn to share and care by having empathy and building respectful relationships.
When students face an uncomfortable situation or interact with people different from them, they need to be guided with an open mind and understand how people from different cultures behave differently. When they have exceptional learners in their classroom, they need to be taught to have feelings of empathy and passion and help those who need assistance.
4. Relationship Skill
When children come from the egocentric stage, it is possibly one of the most significant leaps into the social world ever made when they enter school. Children need to construct healthy relationships among friends by having fun sharing and doing things with peers. As children become involved in the school's activities, they soon expand into the broader community.
Children need to learn that people have different opinions, and disagreement within a group is an excellent way to create healthy discussions. Children need to effectively express their feelings and ideas and not take disagreements personally. Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand, distinguish, and work comfortably with different individuals. Dealing with distinct individuals with various characteristics, moods, personalities, and intentions is not a big challenge for those with high interpersonal intelligence (Gardner, 1983).
E. Thayer Gaston (1991) defined music's emotional benefits as the nonverbal, aural expressions that people use to show tender emotions, foster well-being, and draw people together in social and religious events. Music serves as children's leading source for learning about people's values and cultural behaviors worldwide. Music, paintings, poetry, and rhythms are employed to help children absorb the concepts concerned with people and their lives. Through music and dance, they are introduced to the fact that humanity the world over is the same or different in many aspects. Through music, they learn about fun and recreation, work, transportation, communication, concerns with health and safety, and people's love for country, family, and friends. They learn about holidays and heroes of other peoples and relate them to their own (Nye, 1979). Community information is an essential part of the music and social studies content for young children.
5. Responsible Decision-Making
Students need to identify the challenges and find ways to solve the problem constructively. By sharing and discussing their thoughts, students will conclude an agreement and evaluate the effectiveness of the goal(s); yet might still need to make further adjustments to achieve the goal(s) effectively. In a safe environment, students learn from each other, create a common goal and make decisions that benefit the whole group.
References . . . coming