Thursday, 23 July 2015

Emotional Literacy and Restorative Practices

Lack of emotional literacy is a major contributor to problematic behaviour and harmed relationships.

Emotional literacy underpins most success and well-being. People with good levels of social literacy have a sound understanding of their own, and others' inner experiences. They better understand the society's requirements and expectations and are more skilful in using their social skills. Over time they develop and maintain of useful habits of mind.

Emotional Literacy is about 
  • identifying, relating and communicating one's emotional responses to experience, and
  • understanding and appreciating the emotional impact of experience on others
    High levels of emotional literacy provides us with valid and comprehensive ‘data’ that then enables us to make well informed decisions and responses to the situations we encounter

    The various aspects of emotional literacy include
    • Awareness that our feelings arise from our thoughts about our experience
    • Recognising emotions/feelings and intensity in ourselves and in others: friends, story characters…
    • Naming feelings – “happy, sad, fear, anger, shame...
    • Naming the intensity of feelings – vocab & awareness
    • Expressing feelings
    • Verbal expression of feelings - “I feel….
    • Non-verbal expression of feelings - using body language, images, music...
    • Matching feelings to experience – thinking about…
    • Predictions how feelings may change
    • Knowing about the common mistakes we often make about feelings
    Restorative practices often provide participants with new insights into the emotional impact of events on themselves and each other. These insights can be life-changing and the key to repairing harm, rebuilding relationships and building community.

    Restorative practices make a powerful pedagogy for developing emotional literacy from real-life in real-time. 

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