CONFLICT RESOLUTION AND SEL
In the previous module we took a broad look at social and emotional learning (SEL) – how emotions and feelings develop in the brain, how emotions impact our actions, how developments in positive psychology can shape our emotions, and the various theories on the human propensity towards violence or empathy, aggression or compassion, and the impact those conceptions have on how social and emotional learning is interpreted and implemented in schools.
Conflict resolution, particularly as practiced in schools, emerged from this growing interest in social and emotional learning (SEL). This module continues our exploration or SEL, but looks more specifically at the skills and programs designed to address conflicts that arise in learning environments.
In this video PBS’ News Hour highlights how various aspects of social emotional learning are taught and integrated into classrooms. You will notice references to concepts such as conflict transformation, active listening, I-messages, and finding “win-win” solutions to conflicts – all of which will be unpacked further throughout this module.
Read chapter 16 of Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. In it he provides some concrete examples from schools of how social and emotional learning has helped birth a commitment to skill building and programs that seek to address and resolve conflicts.
“With the curriculum already besieged by a proliferation of new topics and agendas, some teachers who understandably feel overburdened resist taking extra time from the basics for yet another course. So an emerging strategy in emotional education is not to create a new class, but to blend lessons on feelings and relationships with other topics already taught. Emotional lesson can merge naturally into reading, and writing, health, science, social studies, and other standard courses as well (Goleman, 271).”
Reflection Question: Who is one of the most emotionally intelligent people that you know? Think about how they manage conflicts when they arise. What specifically does that person do in those conflict situations that demonstrate their emotional intelligence?