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WORKING WITH EMOTIONS: DELETING “I” AND BECOMING “WE”

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A DEVELOPING PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN’S INTRAPERSONAL AND INTERPERSONAL SKILLS

1. Sommario progetto
Sommario: 

The 7th Primary School is located in a poor region of Athens and counts a great number of children from low socio-economic status, with various learning and emotional disabilities. Teachers of the school realised the importance of including these children in the general school setting and decided to design a 6 month e-twinning project focusing on emotional intelligence, hoping that teching certain emotional skills would help children achieve academic and behavioral growth. They developed a collaborative consultation team with colleagues from European schools, as well as from their own school who worked together to plan and conduct an educational program on emotional intelligence. This team consisted of colleagues who had some technical expertise (special education teacher, psychologist, gym teacher, Primary school teacher, EFL teacher) and tried to identify and resolve problems, as well as provide feedback regarding program implementation.Working together, the team established objectives, identified program content, developed program schedule, implemented program and conducted summative evaluation. The methodology focused on activities that promote students’ intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence in order to help them develop their self image and acquire positive attitudes towards the world outside their classroom. Each school implemented specific activities and published the results in the twinspace, while problems were discussed in the twinspace’s forum, chat and mail. The end product was an e-book that contained all information regarding program design, goal, objectives, methodology, timetable, activities, students’ photos performing these activities, as well as the evaluation questionnaires.

2. Paese (Città / Regione)
Stato: 
Greece
Città: 
Athens/Attica
3. Nome dell'organizzazione che presenta il progetto
Organizzazione: 
E-TWINNING PROJECT
4. Tipo di organizzazione
Scegli tipo: 
Scuola
5. Coordinatore del progetto
Nome e Cognome: 
THALIA HADZIGIANNOGLOU
E-Mail: 
xenodohidis@hotmail.com
6. Website
Il sito web del progetto: 
http://7dim-ag-anarg.att.sch.gr
7. Selezionate la categoria di appartenenza del vostro progetto
Youth Education Project. Select Project Users by age: 
Fino a 10 anni
Inserimento dei giovani nel mondo del lavoro: 
NOT Helping youth step in the job market
Creatività e Innovazione sociale: 
NOT in Creativity and Social Innovation
8. Da quando è funzionante il vostro progetto?
Da: 
23/11/2008
9. Obiettivi ed elementi di innovazione
Please explain the targets and the background of your project: 

As explained, the project developed under the belief that affective learning should be an integral rather than supplementary part of the school curriculum, aiming at helping students develop their full human potential. Below, the goal and objectives of the project are presented.
Goal
This project aims at helping Primary School children develop their Emotional Intelligence (EQ), defined as a union of:
a) Intrapersonal intelligence (self smart) which is the ability to understand oneself, to know who you are, your strengths and weaknesses, your feelings and motivations.
b) Interpersonal intelligence which is the ability to understand others, interpret their behaviour, assess their emotions, motivations, desires and intentions and interact with them.
The project’s objectives are defined into three categories, according to Bloom’s taxonomy:
Cognitive
Students will be able to:
• Name, describe and write basic emotions (Knowledge).
• Distinguish, compare and discuss basic emotions (Comprehension).
• Examine and classify emotions into negative and positive (Application).
• Analyse and identify specific emotions (Analysis).
• Formulate sentences expressing specific emotions (Synthesis).
• Decide which emotions represent them in certain cases (Evaluation).
Affective
Students will be able to:
• Comprehend their own emotions and the emotions of others.
• Value their uniqueness.
• Recognise and promote their positive emotions.
• Develop their interpersonal skills.
• Learn how to solve conflicts.
• Become tolerant to individual differences.
Psychomotor
Students will be able to:
• Draw and paint pictures reflecting specific emotions (Artistic skills).
• Learn how to use the PC in various educational activities (eg. make Powerpoint presentations, create their own photo story)

Come, e con quali mezzi cerca di raggiungere gli obiettivi prefissati: 

The project tries to maximize students’ academic and affective growth through a series of activities that focus on emotional intelligence. It is based on research evidence showing strong correlation between a child’s self esteem/image and academic growth. The following timetable provides an example of the activities implemented in the 7th Primary School of Agii Anargiri, Athens, Greece, during the EFL (English as a Foreign Language) course.

Quali opportunità/problemi affronta: 

The project attempts to develop students’ academic as well as behavioral growth. It provides action steps that can be used successfully in different situations. Participating professionals in this project developed their own activities, expanded on the ones presented by others or used activities found in the literature review and implemented them in their own school settings.

Please explain what is unique or special in your project: 

Affective learning combined with cognitive growth is the unique element of the project. Through a series of activities, students improved their cognitive as well as affective skills. The project followed the interdisciplinary approach (e.g. maths through EFL-through the Wanted poster the students learned how to covert metres to feet), the communicative approach to Language Learning (e.g students had to exchange views to design the book on friendliness), as well as the principles of collaborative learning (students had to work collaboratively to complete certain activities). Students also developed their critical thinking (eg. dividing emotions into negative and positive), creative (e.g. writing their own sentences when putting on the feelings hats), artistic (eg. painting mandalas), ICT (e.g.creating their photo stories) skills, as well as important life skills (eg. communicative skills).

10. Risultati
Describe the results of your project as per today: 

Students improved their behavior and developed socially and academically. They developed a positive attitude towards specific courses and school generally. They were able to speak about their fears, strengths, talents without being afraid of rejection. They felt secure and confident in participating in teams. They developed friendships and valuable affective traits, such as empathy, understanding , acceptance etc. They developed their self awareness, learned how to cope with problems and valued their uniquness. The end product was the creation of three books: The friedship book/The book of my Friendly Acts/The book of “It’s all about me and my feelings”

In che misura risponde ai bisogni degli utenti: 

Many problems in education could be avoided if our main concern for a child’ s academic growth was balanced by an equally strong concern for his affective development and his feelings for self worth as a person. This project aimed at providing students with intellectual as well as social and affective growth.

Quanti utenti interagiscono con il progetto mensilmente e in quale modo: 

Students and teachers from participating schools regularly interacted using the project’s twinspace. Students were able to see the work of their partners and teachers to discuss problems and views.

Descrivete in quale modo il progetto contribuisce a migliorare l'educazione e la formazione dei giovani: 

The student evaluation questionnaire was based on Kirkpatrick’s model.
Students were given questionnaires aiming, among others, at providing answers to the following questions:
• Did they like the project? (Reactions)
• What did they learn? (Learning)
• Will they use what they learnt? (Transfer of knowledge)
• Will they change? What is the impact to the school setting? (Result)
• ROI (Return on Investment). How will the school benefit from the students’ involvement in the project?
Students provided answers to the above questions which revealed ways they would use their knoweledge and make changes in their behavior. Thus, we were able to evaluate how the school would benefit from the students’ involvement in the project (ROI).

Descrivete in quale modo il progetto ha ottimizzato la partecipazione di professionisti, ragazzi, giovani o altri soggetti: 

All participants were able to benefit from the project: Students were able to develop academically and socially, receiving the best that a school, not a single teacher can offer them. Teachers were able to develop professionally, as planning and implementation of the program offered them the opportunity to be involved and think about their work. As a conclusion, we would dare to say that the whole educational and family system benefitted from the project.

Descrivete in quale modo il progetto favorisce l'uso delle nuove tecnologie da parte di professionisti, ragazzi e giovani per lo sviluppo culturale e didattico: 

ICT was the medium of teachers’ collaborative work, as the twinspace was the area for project design, publication of results and project problem solving. Students and teachers used ICT to see each other’s product (e.g. e-book on activities), while students developed their ICT skills by learning how to use search engines, create photo stories, make powerpoint presentations, develop their e-book etc. We might say that ICT was proven an excellent psycho-pedagogic tool in our project.

Descrivete i criteri che usate per misurate i risultati raggiunti dal vostro progetto: 

The results are measured by two student evaluation questionnaires: One focuses on intrapersonal and the other on interpersonal activities, making an overall project evaluation, as well. Moreover, professionals involved in the project were able to make their own evaluation through the consultive collaboration scheme.

11. Sostenibilità
Indicate la durata complessiva del progetto: 
Meno di 1 anno
Indicate il costo di massima del vostro progetto (in Euro): 
Meno di 10.000
Is your project economically self sufficient now: 
No
12. Trasferibilità
Il progetto è stato replicato/adattato altrove: 
No
Che cosa possono imparare altri soggetti dal vostro progetto: 

The project gives information on how collaborative consultation can be implemented in school settings and how emotional intelligence projects can develop students’ academic, social and affective growth.

Siamo disponibili ad aiutare altri soggetti a sviluppare progetti o a migliorare progetti esistenti: 
Siamo disponibili ad aiutare altri soggetti a sviluppare progetti o a migliorare progetti esistenti.
13. Informazioni aggiuntive
Background: 

Our project came about through real problems taking place in the school. We wanted to develop a vision of the classroom as an inclusive community; a community where everyone belongs, where the needs of all members are met, and where people care about and support each other. Our goal was to help students understand, respect, be sensitive to and grow comfortable with individual differences and similarities among their peers. We wanted to teach them essential life skills that would help them cope with life difficulties and develop their full human potential. Similar concerns by colleagues from other European schools (Spain/Italy/Bulgaria/Romania) drove to the development and implementation of the project.

Ostacoli: 

Barriers stemmed mostly by our lack of ICT tools within our school setting. Students had to work in large teams in front of a computer, while the teachers had to buy special computer programs to use in the program implementation. We also had to integrate the project in the curriculum and arrange our timetable so that we would be able to meet curriculum and project needs.

Soluzioni: 

To integrate the project within the curriculum, we had to carefully implement tasks as a follow up of the school subject activities. For example, the character recipe activity was used after a course based on how to write recipes. The lack of computers was solved by forming small teams that worked after the school lessons on the computer, with the aid of the teacher.

Future plans and wish list: 

Emotional Intelligence is a pre-requisite in a constantly changing world. Teaching young children intrapersonal (self awareness, self esteem, self confidence etc.) and also interpersonal skills (eg. conflict resolution) will help them succeed in life, develop healthy relationships and excel in their work careers. It is our wish that we could expand this project to the whole school and to other educational settings, forming an interdisciplinary team (psychologist, special education teacher, psychiatrist, social worker etc.) that would conduct research and disseminate results. Another wish would be the development of training programs for teachers to help them develop personally and professionally and become more effective in their jobs. These programs should be followed by teacher observation and support so that educators could discuss issues with professionals and thus avoid burnout. Finally, another wish might be the development of an e-pedagogy program on emotional intelligence and also an e-community of teachers designing and implementing similar projects in their school settings.

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