On June 6th, 2019, graduating teacher Cathrine F. Bendtsen presented her BA Ed thesis at a public defence at VIA University College, Aarhus.
Title (translated from Danish): Exercises in social-emotional awareness – and how it affects children’s well-being in schools.
Abstract: The empirical material for the BA-thesis is from the context of the EU-ERASMUS project Hand in Hand developing and implementing a whole school approach for working with students’ and teachers’ social-emotional and intercultural competencies. A class from a Danish school was involved in the pilot development in the Hand in Hand project at the beginning of 8th grade, and their class-teacher has worked systematically over time with social and emotional awareness. This teacher and focus groups of students from the class were interviewed now in 9th grade about their perceived outcomes and experiences. The students, in particular, refer to the cooperative environment and the sense of community in the class. They emphasize that the project has contributed to a safe social environment. Some of the challenges the students refer to is about the “awkwardness” of doing some of the exercises. Analyzing their answers there are indications of well-developed self-efficacy in the group of students. The teacher refers to effects at the social learning environment in the class, and the possibility for inclusion of all students and the prevention of bullying. She however also emphasizes the investment of time necessary to work systematically with this area.