Using play to "school" children's emotions
Pretend play is a pedagogical tool that can be used to stimulate a child's socio-emotional competences. A curriculum based on this approach has been introduced in classes of pupils aged five and six by a research team from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), the Valais University of Teacher Education (HEP/Valais), the Vaud University of Teacher Education (HEP/Vaud) and the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Italy. The study evaluating the effects of the programme, published in the journal British Journal of Psychology, shows that pupils who followed the curriculum increased their emotional recognition capacities and emotional lexicon compared to a control group. The use of pretend play as a teaching tool enables children to acquire emotional skills, with a potential positive effect on their prosocial behaviour and, in the longer term, on their academic success.
When children start school, pupils with the ability to understand their own emotions and the emotions of others are more likely to regulate them and adapt their behaviour. Accordingly, it is thought that these young pupils will have fewer behavioural problems and will be more inclined to manage their interpersonal relationships in a prosocial manner.
A total of 79 children took part in the research, with the results showing an improvement in the recognition of emotions, particularly anger. The children also enhanced their emotional vocabulary.
(Content Courtesy: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-12/udg-up121420.php)