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Director of the Virginia Beach School of the Arts

It begins in the brain!

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It begins in the brain!
Yes, it's wonderful that there are such great resources for helping students be aware of others. If you would allow me to offer insight into the human brain where empathy, social skills and executive functions lie... Only when there are fully developed connections from the cerebellum to the prefrontal cortex can impulse control, proper judgement, patience and kindness be exhibited in the human. Caring for others is a function of the limbic system in the mid brain. If the mid brain is underdeveloped not only will kindness NOT be the general attitude of dealing with others, but emotional outbursts, extreme selfishness, revenge and meanness will be exhibited frequently. We cannot put the cart before the horse. We cannot expect desired results if the machine we are working with (the brain) is chemically, electrically and biologically INCAPABLE of providing the correct desired response 100% of the time. When the neurological connections between the brain stem, cerebellum, mid brain and pons are fully connected, the desired responses of compassion, thoughtfulness, empathy, good judgement, self control and executive functions will happen naturally for the person's entire life. Expecting a particular output and physical manifestations from an underdeveloped brain is like expecting modern day computer processing speeds from a computer made in 2002. A student who needs to develop these brain connections can receive the finest education from the most wonderful educators in the world, but if the child does not have someone who knows how to get his whole brain connected, the results will ALWAYS be less than desired and the student will live their life not being able to live up to their full potential. If you would like to know how to get their entire brains connected, please message me. I am VERY concerned for the future of our country.

I agree that supporting both

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I agree that supporting both social and emotional is important to teach to students in order to connect empathy and emotional management in their daily lives. Making connections to life outside of school such as their culture and climate will help students understand what emotions are and how they feel.

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Maurice Elias Professor, Rutgers University Psychology Department and Edutopia Blogger