SEL next stop: embedding with disciplines. The case of mathematics.

Antognazza, Davide and Sbaragli, Silvia (2013) SEL next stop: embedding with disciplines. The case of mathematics. In: IV International Conference on Emotional Intelligence, New York - USA. (Submitted)

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Considering the most innovative neuropsychological findings (Damasio, 1995, Damasio, 2003; Ramachandran, 2006) there is no doubt that cognitive and emotional functions coexist and cooperate in our mental processes, and consequently are embedded in our learning processes. This interdisciplinary research involve two disciplines, pedagogy and didactic of mathematics, with the goal of designing, developing and subsequently implementing and assessing activities for the elementary school, aimed at improving the social and emotional skills of children, underline the importance of these skills in school and develop cognitive and meta-cognitive skills in mathematics. We have tested specifically designed activities that show how social and emotional education could promote the learning of mathematics, and vice versa. We believe that, in order to succeed in school, SEL skills such as: - considering different points of view, - persisting, - recognizing your emotions, are necessary to manage. Similarly, well designed activities in mathematics may be able to enhance these students’ skills, also offering valuable educational opportunities for the generalization of these skills in other areas. After one year of implementation, we present here our preliminary results that show how, in order to support students’ learning process, it is also important to consider their feelings when they facing a mathematical problem. Moreover, we have found that it would be very important for a teacher to consider how his attitude, his “emotional way” to present an activity (e.g. a geometric problem) has a strong influence on the motivation and the perseverance that the students will show during the process of resolution. We believe that the future educational programs will have to take into account the relationship cognition-emotion, paying attention at the same time to the content you want to teach, to the way you teach it, but also to the emotional experience of your students while they are learning.

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