Its Time! The World EQ Summit in Dubai and Mumbai is this week. Let’s get a glimpse of two education sessions from experts in Social Emotional Learning (SEL). Among the star-studded list of speakers at Summit 2017 are Sanjoli Chimne Pande and Dr. Sandeep Kelkar. Here is an insider view of their sessions
Sanjoli Chimni Pande – Mind and Heart Educator, India
Case Study: Equipping schools to move where they want to be!
Sanjoli is the founder of the Mind and Heart Foundation, which helps people and organizations work more purposefully towards their goals. She has worked with more than 8,000 adults and children in over 700 schools, colleges, universities, and other organizations to support positive change and nurture healthier, happier, more productive and sustainable communities.
Sanjoli started her career as a corporate investment banker. In that high-powered world, her “aha moment” came when she realized, “There were some very smart people who made very poor choices. Why do we still do that with so much education?” She then became a Six Seconds EQ Certified Practitioner and dedicated herself to improving the emotional climate in India’s education system. As Sanjoli said in a recent Six Seconds webinar, “Our vision in India is going beyond just cracking down on year-end exams. We want to bring positive change, so that at the end of each year students are equipped not just with knowledge, but with knowledge of themselves, and of what they really want to pursue.”
Sanjoli embraces Six Seconds’ founder Dr. Anabel Jensen’s vision of a school where there is fun, joy, and laughter. Where, as Sanjoli says, there is “more space for trying if you don’t get it right, and education that accepts our innate humanity. Children are real human beings, and not just recipients of information that we give them.” Sanjoli’s organization offers extensive teacher training. As she explained, “We try to help teachers to see emotions, cognition, and behavior, thinking, feeling, and acting; these are distinct but interrelated processes.”
Sanjoli’s session at the World EQ Summit in Dubai will focus on the elements of her training program currently being implemented in several schools in India. She described her upcoming session this way:
At the EQ Summit, we’re going to share Educational Vital Signs (EVS) data from a school where we measured whole school climate. The EVS measures key factors that drive desirable outcomes in schools and gives us a snapshot of school climate. The EVS tells you how it feels for every person to come to school every day. It measures commitment, growth, connection, and accountability. At the heart of the EVS model, we have Trust, Vision, and Action.
How do we create positive relationships with students? How do we ask them to help us design a vital school?Click to tweet
How do we create positive relationships with students? How do we ask them to help us design a vital school? Sanjoli offers a few “sparks” for quick activities that teachers can do right away:
- Start the school day asking your students and colleagues, “how are you feeling?”
- Use breathing and movement to get their attention back to learning. Sanjoli illustrates it this way:
Let’s say there was a fight that broke out over lunch. The math teacher walks in and she wants to teach calculus. The children are all distracted. What do you to get their attention back? Neuroscience tells us if the limbic brain is hijacked, breathing and movement can bring the brain back. Have them breathe slowly, counting with each breath, or have them exercise to bring their attention back.
- Introduce novelty, such as in this example:
Another teacher I know does something completely unrelated to the class activity to start out. She might put a pair of jeans out. She’ll put a handwritten note in the pocket, and say, ‘There’s a note. Guess what’s on the note?’ The brain thrives on novelty.
Dr. Sandeep Kelkar, Pediatrician with Heart, India
Case Study: Mindfulness and EQ
Dr. Kelkar is a Pediatrician and, for over a decade, a passionate advocate of EQ. He is also the founding chairman of Equipkids, an ISO 9001-2015 Certified emotional intelligence research and training institute. His organization does comprehensive work with children, parents, teachers, and other professionals committed to enhancing the emotional health and wellbeing of children. Dr. Kelkar believes that there is no health without mental health.
There should be a session every day in school where students practice the technique of mindfulness.Click to tweet
When Dr. Kelkar began his pediatric practice 15 years ago, he noticed something; children come into the world a bundle of joy and curiosity. But then, something happens. He reflects, “They become a bundle of problems later. We do so many things to prevent the physical problems. Why not emotional problems?”
What if, just as we vaccinate children against polio, we could give children something that prevented emotional problems? As Dr. Kelkar says, “We can nurture these skills early on, so children don’t have problems as they grow.” His answer is to teach parents, teachers, and school counselors and others about Social Emotional Learning so they can discover their own path to whole school implementation. That will be the focus of his talk at the World EQ Summit in Mumbai.
Schools in India have a reputation for academic rigor and for classrooms with 60-80 children. So what are students in India feeling in relation to school? Dr. Kelkar says:
All over the world it is similar: it is anxiety. These feelings are related to classroom performance and classroom testing. We are spending our educational energy and it is being wasted, because these emotions have such an impact on children’s physical and mental health. We need a new schooling on emotions.
What if, just as we vaccinate children against polio, we could give children something that prevented emotional problems?Click to tweet
He continues, “In addition to the three R’s, reading, writing, arithmetic, we should have Reflection, Resilience, and Relationships.” Dr. Kelkar’s vision involves an integrated program at each school. He sees a need for “emotional first aid centers” and “emotional labs” where children can go and get help and learn skills.
To show teachers that SEL is not abstract or theoretical but practical, Dr. Kelkar focuses on hands-on activities that show EQ’s effectiveness. “We let them explore and do activities, then they understand,” he says. He explained:
They learn how emotions affect learning. Then we talk about next steps; how are you going to take this into the classroom? We have five-day programs. We offer different skills on each day. We go into depth on each concept, such as empathy and intrinsic motivation, essentials for any teacher to function in the classroom.
Dr. Kelkar’s “spark” activity is Meditation and Mindfulness. He notes:
There should be a session every day in school where they learn this technique of mindfulness, which is paying attention to the present moment as if your life depended on it. Participants will get 7 foundational attitudes; non-judgmental attention, beginners mind, etc., then we will have 10 minutes of guided meditation practice. This activity is designed as a six -week training in schools, as Dr. Kelkar will describe in his session at the EQ Summit in Mumbai.
To learn more about the World EQ Summit