A REFLECTIVE ANALYSIS OF HOW SOCIAL EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL HEALTH AFFECTS BEHAVIOUR IN LEARNING ENVIRONMENT.
Social, Emotional and Mental Health is an issue facing our society today and affecting our Young children and adult’s mental wellbeing. The aim of this essay is to look at the way in which we can challenge the behaviour in schools by looking at the factors that can prevent, support and promote the well-being and good behaviour in their learning environment in order to curb todays mental health issues as (Gandhi,1868-1948) quotes “We must become the change we want to see in the world.”
The (Department of Health,2018) states that we look past the child’s behaviour and focus more on the underlying causes and what the behaviour is trying to convey”. Moreover, SEMH may be defined as a way in which a person has some learning difficulties and struggles to manage their behaviour and emotions. They may not meet the expectation in school and may also disrupt the education of others due to various reasons. For instance, child abuse or neglect, physical or mental illness, psychological trauma, autism, bullying, sensory or physical impairment or specific learning difficulties such as communication and interaction. According to Freud (1915), the unconscious mind is the primary source of human behaviour like an iceberg, what you seen on the surface is not necessarily what is happening in the inside. In order for one to understand the cause of the behaviour, one must establish the root first through support and Early Intervention.
According to (House of Commons Library, 2018) Early Intervention is about tackling problems for children and family that may be at risk of running into difficulties hence providing a timely and effective support before they become more difficult to reverse. In setting, Health visitors and school nurses are responsible for interventions to improve emotional health outcomes and well-being for the children and their families. The environmental circumstances of an individual can affect their behaviour for learning and a graduated approach may be used to make a special educational provision for the child by an external agency such as SENCO who will be in a position to intervene. When signs are detected, an analysis of child’s needs is carried out together with the parents and a review will be carried out regularly to ensure that the needs are met and the support is beneficial. To give an example, a child with hearing impairments may need special hearing devices and can be sensitive to noise, therefore background noises should be reduced as well as seating arrangement should also be considered. Furthermore, (Inclusive Learning,2018) the child is included in every aspect of learning and the more they are positively supported, the better the outcome of learning as well as promoting good behaviour.
The school Ethos is the characteristic spirit and belief of an organisation according to Torrington ; Weightman (1989, p.18) This values and policies will nurture positive behaviour for learning through support from everyone involved directly and indirectly with the child. In Setting, the core values of the school are one of the cultural foundation that determines how the school functions and a guideline to promoting good behaviour and appreciate the best way to encourage a child to change their behaviour, is to truly understand the ‘reason’ behind the behaviour. How does the core values help relate to this challenging behaviour and how does it work? The ethos promotes positive attitudes, good behaviour, self-discipline, respect, preventative of bullying and helps regulate the conduct of the pupils. (Adolpho, 2018) touches on how important school ethos are on learning Behaviour and how to show awareness of ways to promote positive school core values. In order to evaluate and interpret children’s behaviour at workplace, and how it can affect their social emotional and mental Health, here are a few school core values that help to manage behaviour.
In order to understand key aspect of managing behaviour where in setting involves children with ASD, it’s important for a TA to build a rapport with the child in correspondence to building a positive relationship with that individual. Finding what their interest is, what makes them happy or sad and by doing this, a sense of security and trust is gained. To give an illustration of what I mean by this, when Child X starts experiencing feelings of anxiety due to excessive noise or sudden bang, he is most likely to run to the TA he feels attached to for safety. Bowlby (2015) attachment theory looks at the child’s bond with parents or care givers and allow us to understand how this relationship affects the child. The sense of security is a Safe Haven for the child where they go for comfort and reassurance because of the relationship the TA has built with the child thus allowing them to share their emotions and in turn they develop good social interaction skills.
On the other hand, great tutor and support network will help in nurturing resilience in children. The eco-system theory fundamentally follows the thoughts of behaviourist as well as the effects of the environment on the learner thus Olsen and Cooper (2001) supports the idea that learners exhibit social, emotional and behavioural difficulties in direct response to their surroundings. Whereas, good behaviour can be taught through rewards and sanctions. “Does the setting practices help the children build resilience?” Well, making connection with the children through early intervention to maintain a hopeful outlook, being consistence with daily routine, taking breaks and giving the children freedom to express themselves and release some tension during play and interaction with others. Having the ability to adapt well to changes can help the child manage stress and feelings of anxiety and uncertainty (http://www.apa.org, 2018). Having higher expectations and positive relationship does boost success in learning as well as maximising cooperation which in turn minimise distractions. For instance, in Setting a child transitioning from one stage to another can be daunting, and for that reason, a key worker or known adult will accompany the child for reassurance and support tailored to each child’s need because every move causes emotional challenges (Dowling, 2014).
(Burleson and Thoron, 2018) underpins the value on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs which has given education a different approach through the rise of therapeutic programme such as SEAL. The programme encourages learners to develop cognitively by understanding their own behaviour as well as the impact it has on others. Different practices within the classroom have been applied such as PSHE as part of national curriculum that helps them understand their personal and social development through combating the moral and cultural issues that are part of growing up. In setting children learn through physical activity such as physical education and cooking lessons to promote healthy diet ensuring they make the right choices in order to stay healthy hence, developing the skills that pupils may need to overcome mental health difficulties when they arise. As the more knowledgeable other, being proactive by teaching resilience to aid in copying and coming back from unpleasant situations (Goddard & Walton, 2012). Psychological perspective reveals that self-regulation is significant for causing effective lifelong learner. To elaborate further, when a child is in crisis, reactive approaches that will respond to a child’s need such as a social story on “Anger management” which shows every step the pupil need to take to manage and regulate their feelings until they become calm. This will remind them to seek help whenever things get difficult
and promotes a self -help strategy of what to do when they feel cross hence does restorative justice come to play?!
According to (Restorative practice, 2015) training providers in Britain, defines restorative justice as an approach that features Respect for others, Responsibility for own actions, Repairs harm and ensures consistency in good behaviour and Re- Integration. Their aim is to provide a bespoke package to those schools that wish to develop restorative approach to managing behaviour. In setting, the approach is used to solve conflicts among pupils with challenging behaviour to help them reflect on their action and how their choices affect those around him. Example exercising turn taking, learning to share, dealing with emotions when upset or sad and to teach them how to move forward. A restorative justice should be conducted with composure and a non-threatening body language (Adolpho, 2018). In turn, the pupil will have a sense of reassurance and will be ready to use their words. This positive relationship will in turn influence good behaviour as well as learning. As Gandhi (1869-1948) who say, “You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no results.”
The most significant findings to emerge from this study is that, all behaviour have a root cause and without early intervention, the behaviour is most likely to escalate to an extend that it has proven to affects the social emotional and mental health of our children and young adults. The research has also shown how we can support and promote good behaviour through combined effort and having those heartfelt core values in school as guidelines as well as having a culture that wants to make a difference in families and children’s lives in order to live a fulfilled life and in an environment that is actively supporting their social emotional and mental health difficulties in a positive manner. My question is, “Where are we going wrong?! and why are there more cases of social emotional and mental Health issues in our schools today than it was in the past?”
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