Strengthening Socio-Emotional Learning in Aotearoa New Zealand: Teacher and Whānau Understandings of Wellbeing

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Springer Nature
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International data provide evidence of the strong association between socio-emotional learning and wellbeing in students. However, while socio-emotional learning programmes are generally viewed as effective in developing socio-emotional capacities in students, culture is rarely considered within frameworks underpinning such programmes. In Aotearoa New Zealand, the high variability found in schools relating to approaches to develop wellbeing likely reflects universalistic conceptualisations of wellbeing and the low consideration for culture and language in socio-emotional learning. This indicates the need to develop a framework for socio-emotional learning that reflects the context of Aotearoa New Zealand. In the current article, we explore the socio-emotional understandings of teachers, and families and Māori whānau through wānanga and intentional noticing within a design-based research methodology to inform the development of a co-constructed framework for socio-emotional learning. Crucial to socio-emotional learning were the relationships between students, teachers, families and Māori whānau across the learning pathway. Relationships were viewed as being underpinned by communication skills and holding understandings of emotions and emotional states. Overall, culture, language, and identity were viewed by as fundamental to wellbeing and should be at the fore of frameworks for socio-emotional learning, which should be localised within Indigenous understandings of wellbeing.
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socio-emotional learning, wellbeing, Aotearoa New Zealand, Teacher, whānau
New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, 2022