For schools to adopt the right strategies for student success – they first need to know how. Education does not stop at graduation, and educators should constantly evolve their knowledge to teach better and help the next generation flourish. The Economist Intelligence Unit conducted a Microsoft Sponsored global survey of 762 educators across 15 countries. Their results showed that 79% of educators believe positive emotions are significant for helping students achieve academic success – suggesting that emotions are no longer an after-hours component of learning, but rather a cornerstone to education. But, there can be a lack of understanding regarding how to develop student positivity and well-being – as well as how to keep up with the ongoing evolution of technology and its trends (and its effect on student psychology).
Schools are stating well, with over half of those surveyed reporting that they had implemented formal well-being policies across their campuses. It is essential to understand the form that these policies take – and how they might develop over the coming years.
Educating with Engagement
The key to educating educators is to engage them in the process of student well-being. This can be done by surveying two categories:
- Taught curriculum, which introduces concepts in targeted, age-appropriate ways.
- Caught curriculum, which focuses on the culture or tone of a school and manifests through pupil interaction with peers and teachers.
Both categories rely on mindfulness and self-awareness; teaching students and educators to recognise emotions like anxiety and depression to reduce the risk of harm. Mindfulness approaches, which encourage individuals to observe their thoughts and feelings objectively, is a promising approach for many campuses. This is because mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques are designed to impact stress reduction, self-regulation, self-efficiency, and relationships. It has been found that primary schools who teach exercises like ‘mindful eating’ and ‘watching thought parades’ and ‘feelings practice’ produce more well-rounded students who show more promise academically. The exercises also help teachers engage with students in a hands-on manner, giving them a safe space to not only identify their emotions but discuss and work through them too. Because a teacher leads these practices, educators have to be hands-on with the process and, in doing so, educate themselves on how to interact with and encourage a generation unlike any before.
And, this generation is unlike any that has come before. They exist in a digitally saturated world that does enable better learning, but that also surrounds them with an ongoing stream of social media, news, products, services, entertainment, and more. Helping students find an emotional centre and place of well-being that they can support and evolve themselves is paramount – and proven to encourage ongoing success.
Feeling the Feeling
Something teachers should be educated on is that mind-fullness is not merely about happiness. As Marc Brackett from the Yale Centre for Emotional Intelligence says “being angry is healthy and adaptive, being disappointed is important, feeling guilt is good. The goal is not to take away those emotions but to instil balance.”
The aim of emotional self-regulation is not to avoid emotion or suppress it, but to help students and their teachers understand their feelings and utilise them for positive growth. But the big question is this – how do educators embrace this? How do they make the most of emotional well-being on their campus?
The answer is to understand that positive relationships are essential both inside and outside the classroom. The Economist Intelligence Unit found that teachers who encouraged a feeling of community end belonging in their students helped enhance academic success. This is in addition to developing positive and stable relationships between teachers and peers, as well as building practices for well-being into school curriculums. This raises more questions – what do these practices look like? It is going to vary from school to school, culture to culture, and digital capability to digital capability. Each school is on its own journey with Digital Transformation and must understand what the impact of technology means and looks like for their campus. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean anyone has to go it alone.
Here at MOQdigital, our team of Education Consultants can help you make the most out of your digital investments – and understand how to utilise them to ensure significant and ongoing student success.
Get in touch today to find out more.