Problem Solving, Conflict Resolution, and Social-Emotional Learning

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Part One: Content Review

  • Respond to each item. Each response should be concise and between 2–3 paragraphs in length.
  • Use MS Word to write your responses, and submit your answers to all three questions in one Word document.
  • Copy and paste each question into the document, so your Instructor can see which questions you are answering.
  1. In your own words, explain what social-emotional learning and character development (SECD) is and how it benefits children and adolescents. Describe at least two ways professionals can build SECD in children and adolescents, including a specific example of each.
  2. According to “A Changing Vision of Education,” why is it necessary for children and adolescents to be global citizens? Explain what Carlsson-Paige and Lantieri mean by global citizenship, why it is necessary, and describe at least two strategies for promoting this in young people.
  3. Choose one of the conflict-resolution or problem-solving programs you read about or viewed this week and explain its major goals and components and say why you think it has been effective.

Part two: Personal Relationships

In “The Power of Personal Relationships” and “Hearts and Minds,” Thomas Mawhinney, Laura Sagan, and Steven Wolk extol the benefits of personal relationships between professionals and the children and adolescents with whom they work. As described in these Learning Resources, positive, warm, caring personal relationships are an essential ingredient in the efforts of professionals to motivate young people and guide them toward favorable academic and social outcomes. At the same time, the authors acknowledge that cultivating such relationships can be challenging, given the political and legal climate that governs professions in the field of school-age and adolescent development. In this Discussion, you will consider the extent to which professionals should reach out to children and adolescents on a personal level. Reflect on the following:

  • What are the benefits of professionals forging personal relationships with young people? What are the risks or challenges? Do you think one outweighs the other?
  • Given your thoughts regarding the questions above, to what extent do you think professionals should forge personal relationships with the children and adolescents with whom they work?
  • Is it possible for professionals to be personally invested and connected with the children and adolescents with whom they work, yet also maintain a professional distance?

With these thoughts in mind, follow the instructions below to post your response to this Discussion topic.

Post an explanation of your thoughts on the extent to which professionals should strive to cultivate personal relationships with the children and/or adolescents with whom they work. Include an analysis of the benefits and risks/challenges of personal relationships and explain if and how you believe they can be reconciled in a professional setting. Be sure to cite information from the Learning Resources to support your thinking.

Part Three: Conflict Resolution and Problem Solving

Read the following vignettes: Week 5 Vignettes. Choose two and consider what strategies or methods you might use to help the children and/or adolescents involved in these situations resolve their issues. For each of your two chosen vignettes, write a 1-page description of how you might address the situation and why you think these strategies and/or methods might be effective. Assignment length must be 2 pages long.

Week 5 Vignettes

Vignette 1
You are a worker in an after-school daycare program for elementary school children. You and one assistant supervise a group of twelve 8-year-old boys and girls. On a typical afternoon, the children arrive at 3:30 p.m., eat a snack, play outdoors, complete homework, and then play board games in small groups while waiting for their parents to pick them up. You notice that one boy in the group, Carlos, does not participate in group activities. He does not talk to other children during snack time, he sits by himself on a bench when other children play kickball, and he plays a handheld video game by himself while other children play board games. The other children in the group have never explicitly rejected or ostracized him, but Carlos’s shyness seems to prevent him from joining group activities. You have spoken to Carlos’s mother, and she tells you that her son has expressed to her that he feels lonely and thinks that the other children do not like him. How might you help Carlos address these problems?

Vignette 2

You are a math tutor at a center that provides supplemental tutoring, test prep, and academic advising services to school-age children and adolescents. One of your clients is Liz, a 14-year-old who currently is repeating the seventh grade. For 2 months, you have been working with Liz in two 1-hour sessions per week, but you are concerned about her progress. When you first met with Liz, she appeared motivated and seemed to benefit from the tutoring. On her first two tests for her math class at school, she earned B’s. However, on the next two, she received a “D” or lower. After that, her attitude seemed to change. Liz tells you that she failed the tests because the teacher went too fast, and she could not remember the necessary formulas. When you try to help her correct some of the mistakes she made on the exams, she rolls her eyes and says, “It doesn’t matter. I’ll never get it. I just can’t do math.” When you ask her to take out her homework assignment so that you can work on it together, she usually claims that she does not have one or that she cannot remember it. Occasionally, Liz expresses some fears about being held back again if she does not pass her math class, but she still seems distracted and uninterested when you try to help her. How might you help Liz address these problems?

Vignette 3

You are a counselor at an overnight summer camp for children ages 9–12. You supervise a cabin of seven 11-year-old girls. Over the course of a few days, you notice that a schism seems to have formed in the group. Three of the girls—Jen, Leah, and Tamara—have separated themselves from the others and socialize almost exclusively amongst themselves. You were concerned that this might happen, as you had noticed early on that Jen, Leah, and Tamara seem to have different interests than the other campers. These three girls enjoy talking about fashion, makeup, and boys, while your other campers like to spend their days swimming and making crafts. Several of the other four girls have confided in you that they feel scorned, complaining that Jen, Leah, and Tamara have called them “childish” and deemed themselves “the cool girls.” One evening, the tension between the two groups mounts, resulting in a shouting match. “You think you’re better than us, but you’re not!” one girl yells. “We’re not better, we’re just more mature!” Jen retorts. How can you help your campers resolve these conflicts?

Vignette 4

You are an 11th-grade history teacher at a public school. You often assign projects that require students to work in small groups, researching and preparing presentations for several days at a time. Although you change the group assignments for each project, one student, Mark, seems to struggle with interpersonal conflicts in almost every group he is in. One time, you observed Mark participating in a planning session with his group. As the group talked about which role each member would play in the presentation, Mark became visibly frustrated when he felt his opinion was being ignored. “You guys never listen to me! This is the worst group ever!” he yelled before storming off. After his exit, you heard the other group members giggling and whispering amongst themselves, one of them proclaiming loudly, “He is so weird!” The next day, Mark returned to the group, but no one would even make eye contact with him and Mark was virtually silent. Similar scenarios have played out multiple times over the course of the semester. How can you help Mark and his group members resolve these conflicts?

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