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'We Are Trying to Make Them Good Citizens': The Utilisation of SEAL to Develop 'Appropriate' Social, Emotional and Behavioural Skills amongst Pupils Attending Disadvantaged Primary Schools
Education 3-13
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2018
Pages: 741 - 754
Source ID: shanti-sources-90591
Abstract: This paper focuses on primary school staff members' interpretations of the UK social and emotional learning initiative: SEAL. The data, collected through group and individual interviews with a range of staff members working in schools located in deprived areas, illustrate how the scheme has been used to encourage various behaviours. This utilisation of SEAL was influenced by staff members' perceptions of the pupils' parents, and particularly their in/ability to develop 'appropriate' social, emotional and behavioural skills. Staff members identified a range of objectionable behaviours, exhibited by the pupils, which were perceived to have been encouraged in the home. In response, schools operationalised SEAL to endorse alternative behaviours deemed 'appropriate'. Implications of the findings, in terms of marginalising the values and 'othering' the practices of specific sections of society, are discussed, and recommendations are made for a more democratic approach to schooling which prioritises a mutual exchange of knowledge between school and home.