Developing social awareness is an integral part of a child’s growth into adulthood. As such, it is crucial that social awareness instincts are instilled in a child from an early age. Social awareness is important for children as well as teachers to build a good and healthy environment in the school. A child should be taught to practise social awareness from a young age so that he/she may develop their character to be empathetic and kind towards others as they grow older.
What is Social Awareness?
Social awareness is the development of one’s emotional intelligence. It is the art of being able to understand the emotions and thoughts of people around us and learning to practise empathy. Often it is common for individuals to be concerned for their well being and focus on their desires and ideas. However, social awareness helps such individuals to learn to lend an ear to the ideas and desires of other people. It helps them develop an understanding of the lives being led amidst struggles and joys by the people around them. To practise self awareness requires the act of putting aside what may be self-absorbed thoughts and investing in trying to understand and empathise with the lives of those around the individual.
Why Is Social Awareness Important?
Social awareness is an important quality that every individual should possess to be able to live as one with society. It helps people understand and look at the world from a humanitarian point of view. Here are a few points that highlight the importance of social awareness –
- Effective communication
Developing a keen sense of social awareness helps the individual have a better communication cycle with those around him/her. The individual will be responsive to feedback and reciprocate as per the feedback without focusing only on his/her viewpoint.
- The art of empathy
Empathy is one of the most important qualities a human can possess. Developing social awareness and being sensitive to the needs and feelings of the people around you will help you become an empathic person.
- Valuable member of society
A socially aware person automatically becomes a valuable member of society. The individual who practices empathy and effective communication skills is liked by many and his/her opinions are valued.
- Constructive resolution of conflicts
With social awareness at the focal point, simple arguments and misunderstandings that could easily become large-scale conflicts at home, in the workplace or in the society as a whole become resolved in a constructive manner. Both sides of the party learn to engage in conflict resolution and reason out with each other while being aware of each other’s problems and weaknesses.
- Cultural awareness
Social awareness also leads to a sense of cultural awareness wherein individuals learn to empathise with other cultures and communities in the world. They learn to develop a sense of respect and regards towards each other’s customs and practices.
Social awareness helps break stereotypes. While a narrow mindset may have a particular train of thought or perception towards certain issues and peoples, being socially aware of the different kinds of people and their struggles helps break the stereotypic mindset.
- Standing up for people
A person who practices social awareness learns to stand up for the rights of the people around them. They learn to defend the people who have been wronged and are strong contenders of justice.
Why is Social Awareness Important in the School?
Social awareness is important in schools because it is crucial to train people from their early years to practise empathy and develop effective communication skills so that they may be good citizens of the society. As it may not be possible for parents to monitor their child for twenty four hours a day due to their hectic job schedules and work deadlines, the school becomes an important place to train children to practise social awareness. For parents it may also be difficult to understand where their child lacks or what weaknesses they have in regards to social awareness practices due to a biassed viewpoint of their offspring being perfect in their eyes. In schools, all the children are treated equally and are imparted the right training that they need as per their age group. Many schools in Bangalore have made social awareness training as part of their curriculum.
Benefits of social awareness for students
There are many benefits of social awareness for students. These are some of the benefits that are available in some of the best schools in Bangalore –
- Learning about feelings
Practising social awareness helps children learn about different feelings. They can learn about different emotions such as happiness, sadness, sorrow, guilt, regret. They can also learn how different people display different emotions.
- The effect of their words
Often, children may not be aware of the effect their words have on different people. While being cared for with love and kindness in the home, they may learn different words and sentiments from other children. Such words could hurt their peers and make them sad. With effective counselling from teachers, students can be made aware of the importance of speaking kind words.
- The importance of manners
Practising manners are to be taught from an early age. Manners could include learning to say “Please,” “May I,” its learning to be grateful and learning to use “Thank You” as often as possible. Manners help the child become respectful towards other peoples opinion and refrain from intruding in between sentences. Manners are an important part of social awareness that is taught to children.
- Self Reflection
The young minds may often not be aware of the impact of their words and actions. They may not fully comprehend what on their part is being done wrong or right. Practising self awareness helps the children to understand the importance of self reflection and learning to improve their weaknesses.
Social Awareness for teachers
Social awareness must be practised by teachers first so that the children can learn from them. Teachers are the model of behaviour for students and everything a teacher does is what the student will follow. As such, if the teachers practise effective social awareness, children will easily do likewise. Being socially aware helps the teacher look beyond their biases and to understand and empathise with each child. The children in one classroom often come from diverse backgrounds and cultures, it is important for the teacher to be respectful and mindful of the different beliefs and practises that the children have been taught from their birth. Being socially aware and respecting the students emotions will help the teacher become a better educator. It will also help the teachers improve their communication skills. Effective communication is of crucial importance for the learning cycle to be beneficial for children. The teacher will learn to listen to the children’s doubts and queries with an understanding that each child has their own set of weaknesses and strengths and deal with each child accordingly. Being socially aware, the teacher learns the art of patience and deals with the children gently even if they repeatedly ask her the same question many times. Social awareness is as important for teachers as it is for students, it is even more important for teachers because it is only by looking at how the teachers practise it that the children will learn.
How Teachers Use Social-Awareness to Improve the Environment of the Classroom?
Social awareness is very important in improving the environment of the classroom. It is only when the children practise social awareness that a good friendship can be formed between students and also between the students and the teacher. By teaching the children how to practise empathy and other traits of social awareness the students become less selfish and more considerate towards their classmates. The students learn to be polite and to say kind words such as “Please” and “Thank you.” This will help to build a cordial relationship among students in the classroom. Not just in the classroom, but if the children are seen to be practising these traits in their homes, it will impress the parents and improve the home environment too. It also helps improve the teacher to teacher relationship thereby elevating the overall atmosphere of the school. Such a healthy relationship between students and teachers as well as within the faculty will tend to attract many parents and encourage them to enrol their children in the school.
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Strategies for Teaching Social Awareness
There are many strategies and steps the teachers can take to teach children about social awareness. Given below are some of the strategies for teaching social awareness in classrooms and schools –
Create different scenarios
Create different scenarios to understand how the children should react in various situations and teach them what is the correct way to react. For example, a child may be racially abused, how would the student react to their classmate being called racist remarks. There are also cases where certain children may have disabilities or mental impairments, the students should be taught how to help and be mindful of their classmates who are facing such challenges.
Talk about social justice
Children can be taught about social justice from an early age. Help them learn to be concerned about news and various events that are going on locally, nationally or internationally. While it might not be possible to make them familiar with hard hitting news at a young age, they could be taught about news on the environment and how their actions affect the environment. Young children can spread awareness and touch many people’s hearts by the concern of the environment. Children can also be taught about other news categories like natural disasters, discussions can be held on how they feel about the situation and if they could, how they would help their fellow citizens.
Practise kind acts
Children can be taught to practise kind acts such as helping a friend who has fallen in the park while they are playing. Children could be familiarised with the joy of practising kind acts by being rewarded with a sticker or bonus points on a scoresheet for each kind deed. They can also be taught to practise kind words to their classmates and lose a point anytime they use words or sentences that could hurt their classmates and peers.
Culture based projects
It is important for children to be socially aware of different cultures across the country. They should learn to respect and understand the uniqueness of each culture. A culture day where each children speaks about different cultures dressed in different traditional clothes could be a helpful way to practise this. Other culture based projects such as selecting a state or country as a topic and speaking about it in front of the class could help the children become more interested in new cultures.
Importance of group work
Group work is important in helping children learn to work with each other. Especially for children who grow up without siblings, it can be hard for them to understand the concept of sharing and caring for the needs and wants of children around them. Engaging in group work will help them become better in building relationships with their fellow peers and teach them how to work together towards a common goal such as a certain drawing or art project.
If you are looking for “best schools near me,” to see which would be the best primary schools in Bangalore, make sure to look for schools that are focused on building the social awareness practices of its students. This will surely help your child become a better citizen and make your home a happier place to be.