Monday, 15 June 2015

Re-framing social intelligence

From day one we focus on helping all our students to co-operate, develop understanding and empathy, to show respect and care, be responsible, show integrity … We develop shared understandings of the values we hold dear and unpack what they look, sound and feel like while role modelling them every day.
This combination of skills can be termed social intelligence (SI) and is basically the ability to get along well with others and is sometimes referred to simplistically as "people skills."

Experts like Karl Albrecht, describe it more formally as:
Social intelligence includes an awareness of situations and the social dynamics that govern them, and knowledge of interaction styles and strategies that can help a person achieve his or her objectives in dealing with others. It also involves a certain amount of self-insight and a consciousness of one's own perceptions and reaction patterns.

Social intelligence is viewed as one of the most important work skills of the future and is defined as the ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions.

However, in the context of future building teaching and learning I believe we need to re-frame our thinking about social intelligence in general. Why? Because we need to view it through a 2023 lens to ensure it captures the needs of the learner and learning environment. By 2023 students will need to effectively negotiate complex social relationships and environments in both face-to-face and more importantly online environments.
So, when re-framing the teaching of social intelligence through an online, 2023 lens we will need to teach students how to:

  • ·      Collaborate and build online relationships of trust with small and larger groups of people  
  • ·      Be able to quickly assess the emotions of those they are interacting with online and adapt their words, tone and gestures accordingly
  • ·      Work with diverse (different cultures) online groups and be able to identify and communicate shared goals that transcend their differences and enable them to build relationships to work together effectively
  • ·      Develop a high level of critical thinking, insight, and analysis capabilities
  • ·      Develop new-media literacy skills (the ability to access, analyse, evaluate, and create media)

Finally, we need to include substantial amounts of experiential or play-based learning in the early years that gives prominence to the development of social cues, and how to respond adaptively.

So, how will we our learning programmes change to incorporate this re-framing of social intelligence?
How will the role of the teacher change to incorporate this re-framing of social intelligence?
How will we re-frame our curriculum to incorporate this re-framing of social intelligence?

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