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Social Learning

Nicole Quint, Dr.OT, OTR/L

June 1, 2018

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Question

What are the core competencies of social learning?

Answer

Core Competency #1: Self Awareness

Self awareness is a foundational piece that builds toward love and belonging, and the other social emotional pieces. You have to understand your own thoughts, emotions, and interests and values, before you can move forward. You also have to understand your strengths and your limitations. This is the bottom level of self confidence, and esteem is much higher. We have to have this basic self confidence before we can move toward esteem.Self-awareness includes: 

  • Identifying one's emotions, thoughts, interests, and values
  • Assessing strengths and limitations
  • Maintaining self-confidence

Core Competency #2: Self Management

Self-management is being able to regulate your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. They cannot do that until they know what they are. They also need to be able to control their impulses. Impulse control and inhibition are important pieces of the puzzle, as you move through social emotional learning development. Self management includes being able to set personal goals for oneself. It is hard to set goals if you do not have any awareness of yourself.

Core Competency #3: Social Awareness

Social awareness is understanding social and cultural norms. That sounds very simple, but it is actually quite complicated. Kids need opportunities to navigate these norms. Social awareness also includes the ability to respect others. This comes from respecting yourself. These first two competencies build toward being able to respect and empathize with others. Many adults say kids are disrespectful.  I have to remind them that kids cannot be respectful if they do not have respect for themselves. They are not there yet. Once I open their eyes to that, they give them a little more slack. They are behind developmentally. They are not little adults, they are developing. Social awareness also includes empathizing with others.

Core Competency #4: Relationship Skills

  • Establishing and maintaining relationships with others
  • Resisting social pressures
  • Effectively preventing and resolving conflicts
  • Recognizing when to seek help

I often see therapists really frustrated because they are working on social skills with kids, and it is not working. The kids are not able to generalize. We have to have these other building blocks before we start to work on relationships. Establishing and maintaining relationships with others would be considered part of this. Resisting social pressures is another. You can see where this is a big part of that love and belonging, and then moving into the esteem aspect of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Effectively preventing and resolving conflicts is another area to address. Many kids that I work with either avoid conflict completely, or they tend to have a lot of conflict. Sometimes they are misidentifying conflict. I like to teach them that conflict is an opportunity, and help them to identify when to seek help. They also need to know who they can rely on in that process.

Core competency #5: Responsible Decision Making

  • Identifying and evaluating problems
  • Making decision based on ethical and social norms
  • Contributing to the well-being of self and others

A huge part of that esteem level of Maslow's needs is making decisions based on ethical and social norms. They have to have social awareness and understand the social norms before they can make decisions according to expectations and norms. This contributes to the well-being of self and others.


nicole quint

Nicole Quint, Dr.OT, OTR/L

Nicole Quint has been an occupational therapist for over 15 years, currently serving as an Associate Professor in the Occupational Therapy Department at Nova Southeastern University, teaching in both the Masters and Doctoral programs. She provides outpatient pediatric OT services, specializing in children and adolescents with Sensory Processing Disorder and concomitant disorders. She also provides consultation services for schools, professional development, and special education services. She provides continuing education on topics related to SPD, pediatric considerations on the occupation of sleep, occupational therapy and vision, reflective therapist, executive functions, leadership in occupational therapy and social emotional learning.


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