Emotional Engagement, Looking Beyond Test Scores

In a recent article David Brooks states, “Education is one of those spheres where the heart is inseparable from the head.” If students are to succeed, the best possible conditions for them, for anyone, is to come from a home where they feel safe and secure. Experiencing strong attachments to family and friends allow them to bond with teachers and parents. They need positive reinforcement and some sense of identity, some confidence about their own worth and some sense of agency about their own future.

Today many students come to school lacking a secure emotional base. In the first five years the kind of educational environment that surrounds a child is the most important for effective nurture.

Teachers who motivate their students to show up every day and throw themselves into school life may not even realize how good they are, because emotional engagement is not something we measure and stress.


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