How humans have viewed the relationship between the body and the mind has changed many different times over the centuries. At times they have been viewed as existing in harmony, at others this relationship has been diametrically opposed. These different points of view have decisively influenced both ways of thinking and those of education.
Nowadays, recent research in neuro-scientific and psychological fields emphasises the unity and mutual influence of cognitive and emotional processes (Education Sciences and Society, 2020).
Mind and body are born together and never separate. Together they are building blocks of the life of each individual, determining our perception of reality on the basis of our experiences. From childhood to old age, the way we think, feel, learn and remember is shaped by how we form relationships and how we manifest our emotions. A person’s well-being or malaise encompasses their whole “life story” in all its complexity.
It becomes necessary, then, to reflect on what education really means, in order to guide learning contexts as paths of holistic training of the Self towards the construction of life projects.
The most current frontiers of neuro pedagogy and neuro didactics strive for these results through the development of methodologies that are increasingly centered on active learning, in which developing emotional growth is a fundamental and central element. These diversified methodologies are able to provide integrated educational strategies, so as to give each subject the formae mentis essential for dealing with the complexity of life.
As Dr. Daniela Lucangeli (psychologist expert in learning disorders) argues, “If a child learns with joy, the lesson will be engraved in the mind along with the joy. In his memory there will remain traces of the positive emotion that will tell him: “It’s good for you, keep looking!”». Bilingual British School Via Piccinelli 10, 24020 Scanzorosciate (BG) Tel. 0356591406 email@example.com www.bbschool.it
Kindness takes mindfulness. Empathy is mindfulness with knowingness. Knowingness we learn through experience. Much of that experience at a young age is gained through play. Play that takes various forms throughout early childhood, as defined by American sociologist Mildred Parten Newhall’s six stages of play, who explains how all stages contribute to social and emotional development in some way. During the second stage or “Independent Play” a child plays alone, mostly choosing not to interact with those around them. This is the stage where a young child becomes comfortable with themselves, a vital step for then having the confidence to bond with others later on. By stage four or “Parallel Play”, children are playing within proximity of others, becoming aware of others and observing them. In Newhall’s final two stages, “Associative Play” and “Cooperative Play”, children begin to acknowledge each other, chatter and develop their language skills. They become more aware of their peers and choose to play together and begin to develop important social skills such as sharing, compromising and taking turns. It is through this interaction and playful experience that children learn how their movements and behaviour affects others. Through the teaching of mindfulness and music at BBSchool, children learn to label the emotions that they begin to experience during these interactions. They create a connection with a range of emotions and become aware of what causes those emotions, and ultimately gain an understanding into how their actions can have both positive and negative effects on those around them.
We grow, we change. As children enter school age their whole world begins to open up. They become more social, they want to interest others in their games, in their world. School plays a vital role in all of this. Learning is not merely academic, it is emotional and social. It is through school that children build many of their social constructs, finding out how to behave with their friends and with adults who are not their family. At BBS building a community is as important as inspiring a love of learning; fostering a supportive environment that builds strong relationships and helps children understand and manage their emotions is the building blocks of creating a young person ready to face any challenges they may meet. We have adopted a token economy behaviour system throughout the school. Each class has chosen certain values that they want to focus on, such as “Excellent effort”, “Fantastic friend”, “Really responsible” etc. Teachers then reward the whole class with points and after a certain amount of points the children are given a treat, maybe 10 minutes more at play-time. Values that are embedded in our classroom are talked about and practised every day and children learn that making good choices also means helping our friends to make good choices; positive consequences come from positive behaviour, not just for me, for my whole class. The community building is further increased by School Assemblies. Morning assembly at school is a regular part of the British School system. At BBS it is a chance for the classes from year 3 upwards to come together with teaching staff to share common experiences. Assemblies have different themes (respect, friendship etc) and once a month 1 class takes over the assembly to showcase their work. They are a chance for many different classes to come together with teaching staff to share common experiences. Bilingual British School Via Piccinelli 10, 24020 Scanzorosciate (BG) Tel. 0356591406 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bbschool.it
We believe it is important for children to build their voice, to learn to express themselves individually and as a whole group. Furthermore our Pupil Council allows them a safe space to bring up any issues that they need to. Children vote for their peers to represent them in front of the School Management Board and raise any concerns that they have. Children learn that if they can behave and express themselves appropriately, the world will listen.
Puberty is the most delicate and fascinating moment of everybody’s life. It’s by definition the phase of passage, change, mutation, where young people are called upon to build their own path through very decisive choices.
Depending on how high their levels of self-awareness and understanding of the reality they live in are, will determine how appropriate the choices they make are. No matter what the subject is, they’re invited on a daily basis – especially during moments of confrontation – to reflect in a way that takes into consideration both their personal feelings and values as well as those of other people. Their choices, often based on their peers or adult approval, are already clearly being shaped during this daily “life-gym” that is school.
We learn, through experience, that choices produce a chain of events, some small, some big, that like a domino effect fall on the external world, shaping it and re-shaping us as a consequence. We then change form like in the potter’s work, that moulds clay and, from rock powder, creates a beautiful work of art.
Cum and prehendere: to be able to grab, that is, make something your own; this containing is to include, this understanding is to grab.
What we can understand we can make our own, thus becoming a block upon which to build yourself. Cum and prehendere: also to embrace.
When we understand ourselves we embrace who we are, when we understand other people we sync with them with sim pathèia and then we act with em pathèia. Compassion (sim pathèia in Greek but cum patio in Latin) is a feeling that moves us. This dynamic movement drives us to make choices that are not only for us but that will include – in the compassion container – others.