encouraging educational engagement; schweihart, goleman, petrides, DfES report

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Encouraging educational involvement
Once a child enters the educational system, it could be argued that those who are most likely to success
are the ones whom remain engaged in the educational process. This sub-topic draws upon the
importance of guided play in engaging children, emotional intelligence in handling learning, and
introduces a debate on the benefits and drawbacks in ability grouping.
Goleman and Petrides
DfES report on ability grouping
Schweihart emphasises the importance of play in a child's success later in life and in their
cognitive and social development. This proposal seems humanist in tone as play could
perhaps be said to fulfil the social and esteem needs of a child, as well as teach virtues such as
kindness, patience, creativity and communicative skills.
The study...
Schweihart conducted a longitudinal study involving 123 African-American children who
had been identified as being "high-risk of failure" due to coming from dysfunctional families.
These children experienced a guided-play programme throughout pre-school which involved
teacher-set objectives and structured and well-organised play activities which was monitored
by a teacher.
After education but early in their adult life, they were controlled with a control group who
had not experienced guided play throughout pre-school. The DVs for this field experiment
were; attitudes towards education, IQ, educational achievement, criminality, earnings and
parenting of illegitimate children.
In all of these measures the experimental group, on average, fared better.

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Sutherland's differential association theory states that we become like the people we associate
with. In a non-structured environment where bad behaviours and attitudes are not
negatively reinforced, children are likely to create an environment in which they nurture
each other which, if the children come from families with anti-school values, could be
negative. Bandura would highlight social learning theory (the importance of role models in
modelling behaviour) as being the cause of anti-school attitudes spreading without the
intervention of an adult.…read more

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Goleman hypothesises the existence of another type of intelligence- emotional intelligence. He
hypothesises that educational achievement will be reliant on general intelligence (I.Q) but also
a level of emotional intelligence, because without it, intellectual potential could be negated by
emotional turmoil.
He describes emotional intelligence as...…read more

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DfES report
Finally, this report describes an experimental case study into ability grouping and its
implications for students engagement and success.
The case study monitored the progress of 82 students from Year 6 until Year 9. One group
was schooled in an ability group and one group was schooled in a mixed-ability group, each
group contained an almost equal mix of genders. Data was gathered from school tests, SAT
scores, observations and teacher interviews.…read more



A very useful document for further reading.

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