The Pro-Social Classroom

Researchers look at model that highlights teachers  social and emotional  competence


Patricia Jennings and Mark Greenberg propose a model, in a just published research paper, of a pro-social classroom that highlights the importance of teachers’ social and emotional competence (SEC) and well-being in the development and maintenance of supportive teacher–student relationships, effective classroom management, and successful social and emotional learning program implementation. This model proposes that these factors contribute to creating a classroom climate that is more conducive to learning and that promotes positive developmental outcomes among students.

Furthermore, they review current research suggesting that there is a relationship between SEC and ‘teacher burnout’. They also review intervention efforts to support teachers’ SEC through stress reduction and ‘mindfulness programs’.  (Mindfulness  is getting more attention among educators than ever before and involves, interalia, encouraging students/teachers to reflect and meditate to relieve stress and to think positively. There is an overlap here with positive psychology and  resilience thinking. Although its sounds  a trifle wacky and a bit 1960s sub-culture, increasing numbers of schools take it seriously ). Finally, they propose a research agenda to address the potential efficacy of intervention strategies designed to promote teacher SEC and improved learning outcomes for students. This model informs their on-going research. They are leading an intervention development project, a collaborative effort between Penn State University’s Prevention Research Center and the Garrison Institute, to complete the development and preliminary testing of the Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in EducationTM (CARE) professional development program for teachers. They recently received notice of an award from the US Department of Education Institute for Educational Sciences (IES) that will support this  project.  “The Pro-social Classroom: Teacher Social and Emotional Competence in Relation to Student  and Classroom Outcomes” by Patricia Jennings and Mark Greenberg is now published &  available online at http://rer.sagepub.com under the link “Online First.”

The Pro-social Classroom: Teacher Social and Emotional Competence in Relation to Student and Classroom Outcomes Patricia A. Jennings The Garrison Institute and Pennsylvania State University Mark T. Greenberg Pennsylvania State University


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