According to an article by Matthew Tull, an increased number of schools offer group counseling, conflict resolution programs, social skills training, and have a crisis plan and team. At a lesser rate than the previously-mentioned ones but still increasing, are integrated education programs that that target social-emotional learning. How can technology be used in reaching the goals of these programs?
Multiple studies have shown that education programs that target social skills and emotional development in an integrated manner (SEL) can result in decreased depression and aggressive behavior. Increases in student academic achievements are also results. Roger Weissberg, UIC/LAS Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Education and NoVo Foundation Endowed Chair in Social and Emotional Learning at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has found in his research that children had an improvement of 11 percentile points in achievement tests when social-emotional learning is part of a school’s curriculum. Meaghan Dunham relates the top 4 soft skills that employers are looking for in job candidates to social and emotional learning (SEL) competencies in What Employers Want: Why SEL is Critical to Career Success.
In 2007, Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist at the Department of Psychology at University of Wisconsin - Madison , gave a presentation on how social and emotional learning can affect the brain. Other studies have shown that the hormone, Oxytocin, can affect pro-social behavior (Churchland, Winkielman, 2012). Fluctuations in sweat gland activity (galvanic skin response (GSR) reflect the intensity of people's emotional state, also referred to as emotional arousal (Farnsworth, 2018).
Currently biometric technologies are popular in the areas of identification and physiological assessments. Fingerprinting, face recognition, iris recognition, and odor/scent analysis are some of what is used for identification and labeling (Gemalto, 2019). Technologies that measure physiological responses or changes include lie detectors (the most well-known of galvanic skin response sensors), and other popular consumer products such as smart watches that measure heart rate, breathing, movement among other things. What may be lesser know to the general public is emotion recognition software. Signs of emotional stress in teens encompass behavioral and physiological changes. Behavioral changes can be observed and recorded by adults. Physiological changes due to emotional stress is more difficult to observe. Both are subject to bias. Technology can serve as an objective 3rd eye, especially when compared to baselines.
Technology as an assessment aid in social-emotional learning for this project would be in the form of biometric student id cards that would transmit galvanic skin response data, combined with video cameras connected to emotion-recognition software. The narrative below about a fictional student named Ashley Barnes gives an idea of how biometric technology could prevent a student's stress form adversely affecting her academic grade.
To implement biometric technology as an assessment aid in a classroom would require wi-fi, the use of radio-frequency-identification technology (RFID), which is already being used in some schools for the purposes of attendance, high-definition video cameras, computers with cameras, emotion-recognition software teachers trained in objective data collection and reporting, and counselors. If the school did not already have an SEL program than other staff needed to run it according to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) would at least include a SEL Director, Coordinator, Specialist and Administrative assistant. (To see how some school districts have staffed their SEL program and related staffing costs visit http://financialsustainability.casel.org/cost-modeling-tool/.) The added layer of technology would require an ICT professional proficient in the hardware and a service contract for the software.
Teachers, psychologists/counselors/social workers, and administrators would meet on a regular basis to discuss baselines and changes, SEL benchmarks attained; and what interventions might be needed. Besides teachers receiving training to be more objective observers and to understand the data collected, administrators would be trained to provide a safe, emotional space for teachers and their staff.
[Big Think]. (2012, April 23). Daniel Goleman Introduces Emotional Intelligence. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/Y7m9eNoB3NU
Churchland, P. S.& Winkielman, P. (2011, December). Modulating social behavior with oxytocin: How does it work? What does it mean? Manuscript. Retrieved fromhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3312973
Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning. [n.d.]. [Website on social emotional learning]. Retrieved from https://casel.org/
Denham, S. (2016, June). Tools to assess social and emotional learning in schools. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/tools-assess-sel-in-schools-susanne-a-denham
Dunham, M. (n.d.) What employers want: why SEL is critical to career success.
Retrieved from https://apertureed.com/college-and-career-readiness/employers-want-sel-critical-career-success/
Ed-Talk: social-emotional learning: prevent bullying & promote positive school climate. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=Pt15tKNB_SA
[Edutopia]. (n.d.). Social emotional learning. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/social-emotional-learning
[Edutopia]. (2012, April 9). Social and emotional learning (SEL) expert Roger Weissberg onacademics and character education. [Video file]. Retrieved fromhttps://youtu.be/oGZKfKjDgVc
[Edutopia]. (2010, July 19). Neuroscientist Richard Davidson presents his research on how socia land emotional learning can affect the brain. [Video file]. Retrieved fromhttps://youtu.be/o9fVvsR-CqM
Farnsworth, B. (2018, July 17). What is GSR (galvanic skin response) and how does it work? Retrieved from https://imotions.com/blog/gsr/Frontier Media. (2015, February).
Frontiers in Neuroscience. (2017, June 17). Social hormones and human behavior: what do we know and where do we go from here. Retrieved from https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/973/social-hormones-and-human-behavior-what-do-we-know-and-where-do-we-go-from-here
Frontier Media. (2015, February). Social hormones and human behavior: what do we know andwhere do we go from here. Frontiers in Neuroscience. Retrieved June 17, 2019 from https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/973/social-hormones-and-human-behavior-what-do-we-know-and-where-do-we-go-from-here
[Gemalto]. (2019). Biometrics: authentication and identification (2019). Retrieved fromhttps://www.gemalto.com/govt/inspired/biometrics
Illinois State Board of Education. (n.d.) Illinois learning standards: social/emotional learningstandards. Retrieved from https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Social-Emotional-Learning-Standards.aspx
Tull, M. (2019, April 19). School Changes Since the Tragedy at Columbine. Retrieved fromhttps://www.verywellmind.com/columbine-anniversary-of-columbine-2797196
Weissberg, R. P., & O’Brien, M. U. (2004). What works in school-based social and emotional learning programs for positive youth development. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 591(1), 86–97
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