Emotional well-being programmes may be counter-productive....Their well-being should more come from the core business of education: a stimulating, enriched, challenging curriculum and extra-curricula activities. Research has also revealed both a lack of impact and negative responses from children and young people. These range from indifference, compliance or oblivion that participants are in a programme at all, to rejection of activities for being intrusive, mere behaviour training and, occasionally, brainwashing.
Outside these research studies, there are emerging signs of increased sensitivity to uncomfortable feelings and stressful situations. This suggests that, far from developing resilience, attempts to teach emotional well-being actually exacerbate young peoples perceptions of adversity and risk so that even everyday challenges create circular expectations of a need for emotional support. It is perhaps no coincidence that university counselling services are reporting unprecedented student demands for help.
Problems of labelling also appear when children who stay silent are categorised as having esteem issues, repressing emotions or simply being disruptive. Yet they may prefer to remain silent during supposedly voluntary classroom disclosures, or are unable or unwilling to learn anger management or choose other ways of dealing with problems. In general, its too easy to deflect bigger social and educational problems onto individuals deemed to have emotional issues.
Perhaps in thinking of alternatives to largely pointless, possibly harmful interventions, we should take more account of views from pupils that Dodge alludes to in her article. Their well-being should come from the core business of education: a stimulating, enriched, challenging curriculum and extra-curricula activities. Meer weergeven