Mankind evolves by learning as all we know. What we also know is mankind is a social being with an innermost self whose consciousness has to learn how to interact with others in order to fit into his/her environment in a healthy and comfortable way. And before anything else, human is an emotional entity driven by emotional motivations, chooses for emotional reasons and views the world from the realm of emotions (Tubali, 2018). If emotions are not realized, understood and controlled effectively, they may cause complicated interactions, resulting in troubling situations such as violence, discrimination, abuses, and other ramifications A balanced personality developing appropriate attitudes towards various situations will well-adjust in society.
School is a learning environment where learning acquisitions and activities affecting learning, are planned and framed carefully. Therefore school is the only perfect place that may help an individual grow as a person who can comprehend and describe his/her own emotions, realize others’ feelings and establish healthy relationships. In this regard, Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), as a key competence, becomes prominent not only for healthy social interactions but also for academic achievement, since success comes from having a meaning in our lives, doing what we have passionate in and being aware of why and how we learn, that is all of these depend on our emotional conditions while doing something.
In literature, one of the descriptions of SEL (SEL, 2003) is given as the ability to understand, manage, and express the social and emotional aspects of one’s life in ways that enable the successful management of life tasks such as learning, forming relationships, solving problems, and adapting to the complex demands of growth and development (Cherniss, 2000).
COMPUSEL features to improve the SEL Skills of primary school students and training primary school teachers for this purpose. Hence COMPUSEL is dedicated to develop a curriculum and digital stories including examples of different social and emotional challenges which will help discuss and seek solutions together with primary school teachers to foster self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship or responsible decision-making.
Improvement of SEL skills promotes inclusion and diversity in all fields of education by its very nature, therefore, COMPUSEL directly addresses learning environments that embrace all students regardless of their disadvantages, depriving them of entertaining social interactions.
Learning is a lifelong story, refreshing with information. The importance of learning is vital, especially for teachers, as they have to keep their teaching skills up-to-date even be ahead of their times. When it comes to purposeful learning and student achievement, teachers always matter most (RAND, 2012). Teachers’ competencies and performances have powerful effects on student achievement: up to three-quarters of school effects on the student, outcomes can be explained by teacher effects (Rivkin, Hanushek & Kain, 2005). Teachers’ efficiency during teaching activities is directly proportional to the continuous development of their professional skills and competencies.
Therefore, it is essential to equip students with the necessary skills for their future. Through computational thinking, students will find an opportunity to navigate complex problems regarding SEL. Besides, the roles of teachers and schools are also changing, and so are expectations about them: teachers have been required to implement innovative teaching methods in their classrooms. Computational thinking to be administered in COMPUSEL is not just a foundation for technology skills like coding, but it is instead a vehicle to generate social and emotional attitudes needed for students to be future-ready. Accordingly, COMPUSEL will support teachers to use innovative approaches (such as the use of computational thinking as well as digital stories) to deliver competency-based teaching.
“Hereby, COMPUSEL “Computational Thinking in Enhancing Primary Students’ Social-Emotional Learning Skills” is planned to last 30 months period with content development, transnational meetings, multiplier events, and other dissemination activities. COMPUSEL will design a new and state-of-the-art curriculum for improving social and emotional learning skills through computational thinking, develop digital stories, address the integration of these skills, and prepare a guidebook for primary school teachers.
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