Enero: Linda Lantieri

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Entrevista previa

La experta

La profesora neoyorquina Linda Lantieri es autora de libros como “Inteligencia emocional infantil y juvenil”. La experta en aprendizaje social y emocional aborda en esta charla las capacidades que se trabajan en la Educación Emocional como, por ejemplo, el ser consciente de los sentimientos y las emociones propias, el ser capaz de gestionarlas, el tener relaciones positivas con la gente, el ser solidario con los otros, el ser capaz de tomar buenas decisiones, etc…

La entrevista

(  leer las respuestas traducidas al español)

Linda ha dado respuesta a las preguntas que los docentes le han hecho llegar. A continuación podéis leer sus respuestas originales (L.L.).

Dear Linda Lantieri: I am a high school counselor. It is obvious for me that we must work with Emotional Education Programs in our centers. Many of the conflicts related to discipline and social harmony that we have in our classrooms are due to a poor emotional education. My question is the following: What kind of activities are the most appropriate when working with teenagers? Do you consider that the activities based in Group Dynamics are adequate? Which Emotional Education programs are being the most successful? (NICOLAS TORTOSA GONZÁLEZ)

L.L.: Dear Nicolas,
I find that the activities based in group dynamics are not enough because they are not teaching explicit skills. The most successful Emotional Education programs are the ones that use a developmentally appropriate curriculum that is researched-based and carefully teaches of the skills of emotional intelligence and gives students time to practice those skills as part of the lesson. The organization CASEL – www.casel.org lists these various programs on their website.

How can we as teachers or parents convince children that effort is fundamental? (CARMEN FERNÁNDEZ VALDVIESO)

L.L.: Dear Carmen,
I think the best way to convince anyone of something is to model that way of being ourselves. Also in terms of effort, it is helpful when the adults in children’s lives praise children for effort not only for product or the task completed correctly. That helps them realize how important effort is.

Good afternoon Prof. Lantieri, Do you believe that Governments and Public Administrations are not into coming with emotional education in the official curricula or against that, do you believe they aren´t interested in it because, to some extend, it would make more powerful the critical capacity? Thank you very much Kinds regards  (OLEGARIO SAMPEDRO LOPEZ)

L.L: Dear Olegario,
I am not sure I fully understand the question but my guess is that most governments of the world still believe in the superiority of academic competence and the research that is available on emotional education has not gotten to them so they operate with the myth that a vision of education includes only the intellectual development of students.

Many times family and school are run under different parameters. Taking as a starting point the notion that Emotional Education must be extensive to the families, how to invite them to become interested and come to the school center in order to work on this in a common-union? (DANIEL LLANOS ACOSTA)

L.L.: Dear Daniel,
I find the best way to do this around emotional education is to offer parents opportunities to learn the same skills we are teaching their children. In our work with schools, we teach local educators to do a 5 session series of workshops called Skills for Life for Families where the parents are learning the very same skills we are teaching their children. We have to involve parents in experiences like this for them to have a better feeling about schoools. Also we need to make these experiences parent-friendly – food, ,money to travel to the workshop, child care during the workshop etc. should be part of the planning as well.

If it is so that we must educate the mind and the heart at the same time, would we, all of us teachers who are currently working at schools, still have a true vocation to do this? Would we be able to transmit these teachings about emotions if we have not lived it in our own education? (MARÍA CANDELARIA DÍAZ LÍAS)

L.L.: Dear Maria,
What a profound question. That is the big question – how to help teachers practice this way of being when their own education did not provide that kind of teaching and learning. This is why it has to start with schools of education bringing this into their curricula so when people are studing to be teachers, they are already exposed to some of these concepts and are provided with an experience themselves of this kind of learning. We can’t teach what we haven’t learned ourselves.

I would like to learn strategies and activities about how to act with teenagers to help them become conscious of their emotions. Thank you very much. (CAROLINA VICENTE GALANT)

L.L.: Dear Carolina,
One way to start doing this is to use a curriculum that is especially geared for this. There are many good Social and Emotional Learning curricula out there and some are even translated into Spanish. The organization CASEL – www.casel.org lists some of these curricula and lists what age group they are for.

What subject would you include in the school teaching plan in order to increase creativity? And which subject would you delete? (JUAN LUIS ESPINAR ÁGUILA)

L.L.: Dear Juan,
Supporting and enhancing creativity in learning can happen in any subject area. However the arts and emotional education particularly help to foster creativity. I wouldn’t necessarily delete any subject but I would make sure that both the arts and emotional education have an important place in the curriculum.

Kind regards from Bogotá, Colombia, Prof. Linda. My question is: How to accelerate this so necessary change in our educational models? If the government or the social body in charge doesn´t do it, must we teachers and parents conscious of the theme be the ones to implement the change under our own will and at our own risk? (SABER APRENDER)

L.L.: Dear Saber,
Good to hear from Bogota! I studied Spanish in Bogota many years ago and love your country. I think to accelerate this kind of change we need both people on the ground like you suggest to be willing to be courageous enough to move forward in this way and we need to learn how to open the lines of communication with those who hold the power to make these changes a reality. I see the idea of furthering emotional education as a movement that starts with a few people who are ready to make a change and they connect with others who are feeling the same and before you know it, change happens!

Could you give us a specific example about how to work in the classroom with teenagers in the way that you are teaching. (ANNA BLÁZQUEZ)

L.L.: Dear Anna,
One way to start doing this is to use a curriculum that is especially geared for this. There are many good Social and Emotional Learning curricula out there and some are even translated into Spanish. The organization CASEL – www.casel.org lists some of these curricula and lists what age group they are for.

¿Hay alguna formación específica en educación emocional para los profesores en EEUU? Si es así, ¿en qué consiste?¿Cree que las nuevas tecnologías pueden ser de utilidad para trabajar las emociones, o cree que más bien dificultan el desarrollo de esta competencia? ¿Cómo cree que se podría concienciar más a la sociedad de la importancia de trabajar y educar las emociones? ¿Existe una “fórmula para la felicidad”?, ¿cuál diría Ud. qué es? (ROCIO PAÑOS)

L.L.: Dear Rocio,
I will take these questions one by one:
Is there a specific teacher training on Emotional Education in the United States? If it is so, what does it consist of?
Yes there is definitely teacher training on Emotional Education in the US. It consists of various programs that each have their own research base, curriculm and way in which they train teachers to be ready to teach this. You can find out more about this by looking on the organization CASEL’s website – www.casel.org. It usually consists of as much as 3-5 days of professional development for teachers and then follow-up time in the classroom to coach the teachers.
Do you believe that new technologies can be useful to work with the emotions, or do you believe that, in the contrary, they complicate the development of this competence?
I think in this new age, we need to be open to how technology can help us enhance these skills and qualities in both adults and young people. I have seen a lot of successful use of technology both in teaching teachers as well as using it with students. This is a good example of this right now. You and I are getting to meet and talk through technology.
How could society be made more aware about the importance of working and educating the emotions?
We have to keep getting the word out and if we are teaching in a school, we have to be the one who is courageous enough to start to explore how to bring this into our school and then we need to do it well and set an example for others to see.
Does a “formula for happiness” exist? Which one would you say it is?
I think the formula for happiness is realizing that “happiness is an inside job” meaning that although our outward circumstances may make us feel as though some things would make us happier if we had them, the research tells us it is about what happens inside of us that counts. Have we discovered what our unique life purpose is and are we living out that purpose?

Based on the results that the Spanish educational system obtains in different international reports, there is in our country a wide span of social and educational sectors that think that it is necessary to give priority to values such as thoroughness, effort and academic results, in addition to it being in a clearly competitive climate (within a society that motivates this by the way that it is making it more and more difficult for the younger generations). This same school of thought defends that former educational political systems that have given too much value to the process, that have situated the student in the center and that have taken into account the convenience of generating a positive, attractive and participative learning climate that motivates the students, are the origin of the present bad results. How do you believe that active and participative education and good academic results can be combined? (MIGUEL ÁNGEL RODRÍGUEZ FELIPE)

L.L.: Dear Miguel,
A great question. I feel that is the hope of the field of emotional education. We now know from research that when emotional education is combined with good academics in a caring classroom environment, students improve in lots of things including their academic competence. In fact children who have both good academics and emotional education do 11% better in academics than students who only have good academics in their school . So now we know it doesn’t have to be an either or situation. We can educate the heart and the mind.