Teaching and Learning, Innovation and Excellence in ISABC Schools - Spotlight on Brockton School
Brockton School: Purpose-filled Students and the Greater Good
Amongst its aspirations, Brockton School seeks to nurture students who will come to appreciate their sense of self and who will stretch to optimize their potential while developing a genuine sense of purpose. Such aspirations require an educational program that considers and attends to the whole child and, in particular, the student’s Social Emotional Learning (SEL) competencies. While there are various strategies for such development throughout the JK-Grade 12 years, this past year Brockton has developed a new course called The Greater Good that is aimed at Grade 8 and 9 students.
The Greater Good is based on the development of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) competencies. SEL is the process through which students learn and apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. This course includes, but is not limited to, service learning, restorative justice, mindfulness, and character education; its purpose is to complement and augment students’ social-emotional learning, and provide them a venue for building pro-social competencies that will serve their academic performance, service learning objectives, and their personal well-being.
Students began studying these skills from a variety of different perspectives, including: mindfulness; brain development; the nervous system; compassionate communication; restorative circles; and the development of gratitude, empathy, and compassion. Through discussions, journal reflections, role-playing, class activities, and event planning, students show their knowledge and understanding. Students continue to explore mindfulness and compassionate communication through a variety of explorations, some of the more recent being the topic of ancestral wisdom through a project called “Walking With Our Elders” and a community connection experience called “The Compassion Project.”
Feedback from our students and families about The Greater Good has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are pleased the students have additional skills and competencies in their toolkits for success.
NOTE: acknowledgements to our teachers and leaders who have been supported in various growth opportunities including (and not limited to) those at the Berkeley Greater Good Science Centre.