How schools should help children handle stress? Meet to discuss in July

Schools merely focus on the academic aspect of a child’s life. Though a student spends the larger share of his/her day in schools, social and emotional development of the child receives little attention.

This is the premise of the three-day ‘Schools that Care 2017’ conference being organised by The Teacher Foundation (TTF) from July 13 to 15.

“When children come out of school and move into college or a workplace, they should be capable of handling internal and external stress. Adults influence the development of social and emotional competencies in children and since they spend so much time in school, the environment there should be gentle and caring,” said Maya Menon, the director of the foundation. The conference will also mark 15 years of the existence of the foundation, which trains and supports teachers to impart education effectively.

The first day of the conference will be on the theme ‘Caring to Learn, Learning to Care’ and will explore why ideas like empathy and tolerance are important in schools. The keynote address will be delivered by Roger Weissberg, professor of psychology at the University of Illinois. There will be a panel discussion on the day’s theme with the participation of Dr Shekhar P Seshadri, child psychiatrist and professor at Nimhans, writer Aakar Patel and film maker Shabnam Virmani, among others. TTF will release key findings from its study on ‘Standards for Social and Emotional Learning for Indian Schools’.

Talks and discussions on the second day will deal with how schools can shift focus to emotional development. The keynote address will be delivered by educationist Jenny Mosley who created a ‘Circle Time’ model for educational training.

The third day will have a discussion with a panel of students who will talk about their perspectives on school.
Principals, teachers and educationists from across the country will be taking part in the conference.

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