Essay Example on Lack of Social Skills in Schools: Impact on Students' Lives

Paper Type:  Case study
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1691 Words
Date:  2023-02-23


A typical secondary school has a culturally diverse group of students with different skills, abilities, and backgrounds. Most of the students have poor social skills and are not interacting appropriately. What is happening is that students are not being taught social skills in school, and this is affecting their lives. The reason is, teachers are more concerned about students' academic performance thereby neglecting social skills. Social skills are learned from birth and must be learned from others. Some of the social skills students need to have include communication, active listening, following rules, accepting other students' differences and problem-solving. Students could also be fearing to interact with each other because they do not understand how they need to behave as they originate from different cultures. Further, language barrier could also be causing the problem. This paper will assess the case using three approaches which include, cognitive, humanist, and constructivist approaches.

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Cognitivist Theory


Poor social skills and interaction problems can be analyzed through the cognitivist theory. Jean Piaget developed a theory of cognitive development that explains how a child creates a mental model of the world. According to Piaget is that intelligence is not a static feature; rather, cognitive development is a process that occurs due to biological development and contact with the environment. According to the theory is that cognitive development is a product of the complex interactions between the maturation of the nervous system and language. However, the maturation varies depending on children's social and physical interactions with the environment.

On the other hand, logical constructs are formed when children interact with the environment. Further, children's thought schemas or cognitive structures are different from those of adults, but they continue to become more abstract as they develop. Piaget believed that children who are between ages 11 or 12 are in the stage of formal operations where new capabilities grow, and thus children can reason hypothetically and deductively to establish abstract relationships (Duchesne & McMaugh, 2018). At the end of this stage, at age 15 children can use formal and abstract logic just like adults. They also start to think about probabilities and ethical issues such as justice.

Social cognition theories based on Piaget's theory are exceedingly vital in teaching. Children who are barred from social interactions with their peers lack experiences that are essential to social understanding. Therefore, social cognition must be understood as a form of knowledge as well as a cognitive function that must be recognized during the creation of useful theories, methods, and approaches to teaching. Piaget believed that teachers could have an impact on social transmission influence, that is, encourage learning from others based on the student's stage of cognitive development (Ewen, 2009, pg.3).

Cognitivist perspective also believes self-image affects how adolescents interact with others. A healthy and stable self-image is key to ensuring that adolescents have a healthy development. Issues with the formation of a positive sense of self indicate substantial correlations with disturbed peer and family relationships (Hirsch, Meynen & Clark, 2004, pg. 496). Further, blatant signs of physical illness such as deformity or the less visible signs of illnesses in the case of diabetes can lead to negative impact on the self-esteem and confidence of adolescents, which can affect social relationships and interactions. Adolescents also reach a peak level where they rely on their in-groups for acceptance, and therefore illness can grow their innate fears of being unwanted, flawed, and alienated (Hirsch et al., 2004, pg. 503).

Parents and teachers have a role to play in speeding up the development as well as affecting the content of children's social-cognitive beliefs. There is a close link between motor skills and social abilities (Kenny, Hill, & Hamilton, 2016, pg. 288). For instance, children with autism have difficulty understanding other people's actions, which makes it hard for them to respond.

Impulsivity and reflectivity are used to analyze how children respond, which also affects how they learn. Children with a quick response capability are termed as having impulsivity, while those that respond slowly are termed as having reflexivity. Reflexive children take more time to complete tasks, but they tend to be more accurate compared to impulsive children (Duchesne & McMaugh, 2018, pg. 288).

On the other hand, Vygotsky stresses that social and cultural factors contribute significantly to cognitive development. Therefore, sociocultural factors tend to affect children's ways of thinking, remembering, and processing information. Social structures and processes determine the kind of activities that children engage in, which also play a role in cognitive development. Therefore, teaching and learning should not occur autonomously of the culture and history of the students (Duchesne & McMaugh, 2018, pg. 289).

Effective Pedagogical Strategies according to Cognitivist Perspective

Current classrooms should be based on the realization that social interaction is essential as it enables the formation of morals, values as well as language development, which are all vital aspects of holistic education. Modern educational settings where technology is applied in the classroom would be in such a way that it allows students to interact with different cultures as well as societies. This environment helps in the creation of constant chances for knowledge creation and construction. This suggestion strategy is based on Piaget's recognition of social interaction on cognitive development.

People learn by observing others. Therefore, social development affects cognitive development. According to Kharrazi & Delgoshaee (2010), Social interaction cannot be avoided if children are to develop mentally (pg. 2174). Through social interaction, children learn how to behave and how to make judgments. Therefore, it is vital for schools to promote social development of students, such as responsibility, emotional intelligence, and empathy. It is crucial for school to prioritize social development and responsibility of children. The strategy that can be used to prepare students for future life is to involve them in real social situations and inspire them to gain social skills through practice (Kharrazi & Delgoshaee, 2010. pg. 2176).

At this stage, where these threats are real to adolescents, it is crucial for individual counselling to be done to ensure that they discard any negative self-images that hamper social interactions. Increased parental nurturance and peer group support are also vital for healthy teenage development.

Interventions that change children's social-cognitive beliefs in a positive direction can be beneficial to the social behaviour and social acceptance of adolescents. Social cognitive skills can be taught to students and are especially beneficial when instruction is offered in the appropriate language (Kenny et al., 2016, pg. 228). Teachers ought to support learners in developing metacognitive strategies to support self-directed learning (Woolfolk & Margetts, 2012, pg. 247).

Humanist perspective


Adolescents are at risk of experiencing social problems due to their use of technologies such as television, computers, and others. Further, adolescents spend most of their time alone as parents are at work throughout the day. Further, the school is under pressure to ensure that students perform well in school. Therefore teachers tend to pay more attention to improving the academic performance of students. Teachers tend to focus on increasing the scores of students. However, the social development of students in regards to their moral, spiritual and civic development is essential. Students can learn vital lessons such as authority, rues, courage, responsibility, perseverance, responsibility through games, and sports (Salamuddin & Harun, 2010, pg. 224).

The humanism movement is concerned with encouraging the development of critical thinking and socially conscious individuals. The humanism movement was previously concerned with building and strengthening democracies by encouraging education so that people could think critically and also become socially conscious people and discourage religious dogmas that promoted dictatorship. The humanist perspective stresses on seeing the whole individual. The theory does not focus on dysfunction; rather, it is more concerned with people maximizing their potential and concepts, including self-efficacy, free will, and self-actualization (Tangney, 2014). According to Abraham Maslow is that people have various needs that influence their behavior.

According to the humanist theory is that learning occurs through observation. Students learn from observing the behaviors of others and the results of the behaviors. But learning does not lead to lead to behavior change. The role of the teacher is to be a role model for students because learning occurs observation (Sage, Adcock, & Dixon, 2012, pg. 2017).

Effective Pedagogical Strategies according to the Humanist Perspective

In the above scenario, teachers ought to model proper behavior and strive not to reproduce inappropriate conduct. A teacher is also anticipated to offer a goal and motivation for every chore, instruct general learning skills, and encourage group work and, if probable provide alternative tasks to students (Cornelius-White, 2007, pg. 117). Students are expected to be explorers and observers. Students can employ self-evaluation tactics to monitor and observe their conduct and make necessary adjustments.

The pedagogical strategies that can be adopted from humanism can help transform the classroom and school environment to help ensure students develop in all spheres of life. It is crucial to appreciate that each student is unique. Schools also need to implement individualized instruction that can help increase knowledge because students can discover their strengths and weaknesses. Further, the curriculum must incorporate learning about self-concept and self-esteem since they affect social interactions (Duchesne & McMaugh, 2018, pg. 256).

Humanistic school culture can be created in school by teaching letting students be in a naturalistic environment. Humanistic education is child-centered, and the teacher's role is to provide a conducive climate for students to realize their potential. School culture needs to be built on mutual trust and respect, encourage learning that is directed by the interest and internal motivation of students, independent and genuine growth, social closeness and self-governing spirit where self-guidance substitutes authority and an understanding attitude swaps judgmental and achievement orientation (Valett, 1977, pg. 15).

Humanistic school culture is that which prioritizes the holistic development of students and proves appreciation of students' humanness by treating students as subjects rather than objects. This involves treating students as people who think, feel, act based on their will. Therefore humanistic education is focused on developing the whole student by targeting their cognitive, emotional, ego, and norm, physical, and aesthetic of the student. This requires an education that enables character, self-regard, sensitive to caring for others, compassion, morality, tenderness, and emphatic understanding. Students who have developed humanistically are characterized by the following: happy, balanced, responsible, capable of living a meaningful life, wholesome, and balanced. Interpersonal relations are at the ce...

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