Why students need to master their thoughts, feelings and behaviour

Rosemary Dewan

Rosemary Dewan is the CEO of the Human Values Foundation which promotes the importance of teaching human values in schools. Since 1995 it has been providing practical, cross-curricular programmes for personal development and behaviour management, integrating SMSC, PSHE education, Citizenship, PLTS and SEAL.

Follow @HVF_Values

Website: www.humanvaluesfoundation.com Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The visions of our highest-achieving schools today are not only concerned with academic attainment but also promoting an integrated, whole-person approach to their pupils’ development, particularly in emotional and social skills.

Going to school is a journey of discovery about oneself, other people and the world we inhabit. As children mature, they take more and more responsibility for reaching their potential. To help them progress, they need:

  • Vision - clear pictures in their minds of what they want to achieve
  • Goals - to direct their energy, giving it purpose and direction
  • Tools - a growing collection of knowledge and skills

It also helps if they can gradually deepen their understanding and mastery of what is going through their heads, hearts and hands; their thoughts, feelings and behaviour, respectively.

A journey of discovery about self, others and the world

As with all of us, their journeys will, from time to time, change direction. They will encounter obstacles and difficulties and they will experience ups and downs – but it doesn’t help if their heads, hearts and hands go off in different directions! It is better if these key elements of their character are in harmony in order for the person to achieve happiness.

For example, a comment might spark a very angry feeling. If the learner can quickly give it some thought, such as counting up to 10, then it is likely that the response or action taken will be a more measured one. Such strategies may well affect interpersonal dealings and thus the person’s happiness; internal equilibrium and thus the person’s health; and decision-making and thus staying the right side of the law.

Whatever is deep within us is reflected on the outside. When there is order and harmony inside us, it is mirrored in our whole life and the way in which we live it. How we are inside 'wells up' and comes out in everything that we think, feel and do. So, when we experience inner confusion and unrest, our state of being cannot be hidden. It will be reflected in how we live our lives which will in turn affect our happiness, health and the ability to maintain a hopeful outlook.

Putting modern life skills to good use

The World Health Organisation states that, "Life skills are the abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life."

The identified skills have been divided into cognitive, personal and interpersonal abilities; learning to know, learning to be and learning to live together, respectively.

Albert Einstein once said, "Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value."

Young high-fliers are beacons of light

Early in October this year, an event took place in Johannesburg bringing together from 190 countries, 1300 socially committed persons aged between 18 and 30, each already demonstrating inspiring leadership qualities. More countries were represented at this fourth annual summit of One Young World than at any other global event bar the Olympics!

The primary activity at this summit is to ensure the delegates’ concerns, opinions and solutions are heard as they debate pressing issues the world faces. Afterwards, with their skills and mindsets, and empowered by their grasp of the enormous potential of the technology revolution, they take action, driving positive change in their countries, communities or workplaces.

Each such summit is facilitated by high-profile ‘counsellors’, who have excelled in their various fields. They range from politicians, activists, founders and CEOs to musicians, models, sports stars and chefs. The one thing that all these great leaders have in common is that they have consistently put others before themselves. They have left self-interest on one side in order to drive progress and change.

While many people may not be able to feel optimistic about the present, when Kofi Annan, the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations and a One Young World Counsellor, addressed the delegates he said: “I feel confident that the future is in good hands and that you will succeed where my generation has failed”.

Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support us.
When you register, you'll join a grassroots community where you can:
• Enjoy unlimited access to articles
• Get recommendations tailored to your interests
• Attend virtual events with our leading contributors
Register Now

Latest stories

  • How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country
    How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country

    Teaching English in a foreign country is likely to be one of the most demanding experiences you'll ever have. It entails relocating to a new country, relocating to a new home, and beginning a new career, all of which are stressful in and of themselves, but now you're doing it all at once. And you'll have to converse in a strange language you may not understand.

  • Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?
    Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?

    Over the weekend, my family of five went to an Orlando theme park, and I decided we should really enjoy ourselves by purchasing an Unlimited Quick Queue pass. It was so worth the money! We rode every ride in the park at least twice, but one ride required us to ride down a rapidly flowing river, which quenched us with water. It was incredible that my two-year-old was laughing as well. We rode the Infinity Falls ride four times in one day—BEST DAY EVER for FAMILY FUN in the Sun! The entire experience was epic, full of energizing emotions and, most importantly, lots of smiles. What made this ride so cool was that the whole family could experience it together, the motions were on point, and the water was the icing on the cake. It had been a while since I had that type of fun, and I will never forget it.

  • Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2
    Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2

    The Action Pack is back for the start of the brand new school year, just in time for Recycle Week 2021 on 20 - 26 September, to empower pupils to make the world a better and more sustainable place. The free recycling-themed resources are designed for KS1 and KS2 and cover the topics of Art, English, PSHE, Science and Maths and have been created to easily fit into day-to-day lesson planning.

  • Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu
    Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu

    Following the exceptional performance from British breakthrough star Emma Raducanu, who captured her first Grand Slam at the US Open recently, Emmamania is already inspiring pupils aged 4 - 11 to get more involved in tennis - and LTA Youth, the flagship
    programme from The LTA, the governing body of tennis in Britain, has teachers across the country covered.

  • 5 ways to boost your school's eSafety
    5 ways to boost your school's eSafety

    eSafety is a term that constantly comes up in school communities, and with good reason. Students across the world are engaging with technology in ways that have never been seen before. This article addresses 5 beginning tips to help you boost your school’s eSafety. 

  • Tackling inequality in EdTech
    Tackling inequality in EdTech

    We have all been devastated by this pandemic that has swept the world in a matter of weeks. Schools have rapidly had to change the way they operate and be available for key workers' children. The inequalities that have long existed in communities and schools are now being amplified by the virus.

  • EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab
    EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab

    The world is catching up with a truth that we’ve championed at Learning Ladders for the last 5 years - that children’s learning outcomes are greatly improved by teachers, parents and learners working in partnership. 

  • Reducing primary to secondary transition stress
    Reducing primary to secondary transition stress

    As school leaders grapple with the near impossible mission to start bringing more students into schools from 1st June, there are hundreds of thousands of Year 6 pupils thinking anxiously about their move to secondary school.

  • Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?
    Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?

    The K-12 online tutoring market is booming around the world, with recent research estimating it to grow by 12% per year over the next five years, a USD $60bn increase. By breaking down geographic barriers and moving beyond the limits of local teaching expertise, online tutoring platforms are an especially valuable tool for those looking to supplement their studies in the developing world, and students globally are increasingly signing up to online tuition early on in their secondary education schooling. 

  • Employable young people or human robots?
    Employable young people or human robots?

    STEM skills have been a major focus in education for over a decade and more young people are taking science, technology, engineering, and maths subjects at university than ever before, according to statistics published by UCAS. The downside of this is that the UK is now facing a soft skills crisis and the modern world will also require children to develop strong social skills as the workplaces are transformed by technology. 

In order to make our website better for you, we use cookies!

Some firefox users may experience missing content, to fix this, click the shield in the top left and "disable tracking protection"