Education needs to focus on Social Emotional Competency

During his lectures on education, His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi would often say that today's education system is flawed because of lack of focus on the learner him/herself and the absence of the right kind of environment for learning. The ideal state of learning anything is stress free, restfully alert state. It is the state in which the learner is is favourably attuned to the self as well as the environment from which they are receiving the knowledge, They must also have an evolved sense of empathy, compassion, confidence, creativity, intellect and memory to receive, analyse, understand the implications of, assimilate and apply the knowledge gained. That is when the knowledge is fully utilized. It is for this reason that Social Emotional Learning, which governs sense of self, relationship building, team work, motivation, goal directed behaviour and social skills is being considered an important aspect of school education system nowadays. The Week Magazine ran an article dated March 21st, 2019 on research conducted on students participating in a Quiet Time programme, as TM for schools is known in the United States, which focussed on measuring SEL in the students. Here's the link https://bit.ly/2w67WWU FULL TEXT below : Practising meditation as part of a school curriculum can improve the students' social-emotional competency and reduce psychological distress, a study has found. Social-emotional learning (SEL) is gaining increased recognition as an important goal of education. Competencies include self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and goal-directed behaviour. Developing these skills may help students perform better academically and enjoy enhanced emotional and social well being. "There's a strong body of research supporting the clear value of developing social-emotional competency for students," said Laurent Valosek, Executive Director of the Center for Wellness and Achievement in Education (CWAE) in the US. "Middle school is an especially formative time and poses a major opportunity to provide students with the tools to develop positive social relationships, responsible decision-making, and healthy behaviours," said Valosek, lead author of the study published in the journal Education. "We're encouraged by the results demonstrating the value of a Quiet Time programme to enhance social-emotional learning and mental health in middle school students," Valosek said. The study compared over a four-month period 51 sixth-grade students who took part in a Quiet Time program with twice-daily practice of Transcendental Meditation to 50 students from a matched control school within the same West Coast urban public school district. The study found a significant increase in overall social-emotional competency in the Quiet Time group compared to controls. The effects were particularly pronounced with high-risk subgroups, which experienced a significant increase on social-emotional competency and a significant decrease on negative emotional symptoms compared to controls. Results on the individual items indicate improvement in the Quiet Time group compared to controls in the areas of decision-making, goal-directed behaviour, personal responsibility, relationship skills, and optimistic thinking. These results have implications for schools looking to implement evidence-based programs for student social-emotional learning and mental health, researchers said.