3. PROTOTYPE AND TEST
CREATE TEST WRITE A REFLECTION
To start from the scratch, we have to redesign the school-to-work transition. After talking to a couple of professors, it turned out that one of
the problems that make the transition harder is that the educational problem has failed. So, my stakeholders (professors) need a solution for
this situation. Moreover, students who will become school-leavers in short or middle-term will thank the solution found as well.
After the Ideate part of the study, I decided that the best solution is: Joint CASEL: Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional
Learning, a non-profit organization located in Chicago pioneering in the use of SEL practices. Why?
Just visit their website, browse information about SEL on the net and you’ll see why I think this is the best solution.
The prototype will be as follows:
- 1 solution means 2 prototypes or tests.
- It is not possible to ask my two interviewees to make the test this week with
some students, mainly because both of them are on holidays with their
families. I do not dare to disturb their summer deserved peace with my
exercises for I am suspicious that they might try to kill me by accident. What
could I do? Ahhh, I am a humble professor as well, so, I will test it by myself.
- I will use CASEL methodology with two boys (aged 6 and 7) and two adults
(aged 32 and 38).
- To make it more difficult, I will teach Ancient History and Classical Laws both
children during two hours!!!! And for the adults, I have prepared 2 hour class of
REMEMBER: the goal of both tests is to use a useful teaching methodology to prepare and qualify everybody for tomorrow.
Before we start: Why CASEL? Social and emotional learning involves the processes of developing social and emotional competencies in
children. SEL programming is based on the understanding that the best learning emerges in the context of supportive relationships that
make learning challenging, engaging, and meaningful; social and emotional skills are critical to being a good student, citizen, and
worker; and many different risky behaviors (e.g., drug use, violence, bullying, and dropout) can be prevented or reduced when multi-year,
integrated efforts develop students’ social and emotional skills.
This is best done through effective classroom instruction, student engagement in positive activities in and out of the classroom, and broad
parent and community involvement in program planning, implementation, and evaluation (Bond & Hauf, 2004; Hawkins, Smith, & Catalano,
2004; Nation et al., 2003; Weare & Nind, 2011). Effective SEL programming begins in preschool and continues through high school. CASEL
has identified five interrelated sets of cognitive, affective, and behavioral competencies.
The definitions of the five competency clusters for students are:
• Self-awareness: The ability to accurately recognize one’s emotions and thoughts and their influence on behavior. This includes
accurately assessing one’s strengths and limitations and possessing a well-grounded sense of confidence and optimism.
• Self-management: The ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations. This includes
managing stress, controlling impulses, motivating oneself, and setting and working toward achieving personal and academic goals.
• Social awareness: The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures, to
understand social and ethical norms for behavior, and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.
• Relationship skills: The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups.
This includes communicating clearly, listening actively, cooperating, resisting inappropriate social pressure, negotiating conflict
constructively, and seeking and offering help when needed.
• Responsible decision-making: The ability to make constructive and respectful choices about personal behavior and social
interactions based on consideration of ethical standards, safety concerns, social norms, the realistic evaluation of consequences of
various actions, and the well-being of self and others.
What instructional methods are commonly used in SEL?
Effective instructional methods for teaching SEL skills are active, participatory, and engaging. Here are a few examples:
• Young children can to be taught through modeling and coaching to recognize how they feel or how someone else might be feeling.
• Prompting the use of a conflict-resolution skill and using dialoguing to guide students through the steps can be an effective
approach to helping them apply a skill in a new situation.
• In class meetings, students can practice group decision-making and setting classroom rules.
• Students can learn cooperation and teamwork through participation in team sports and games.
• Students deepen their understanding of a current or historical event by applying it to a set of questions based on a problem-solving
• Cross-age mentoring, in which a younger student is paired with an older one, can be effective in building self-confidence, a sense of
belonging, and enhancing academic skills.
• Having one member of a pair describe a situation to his partner and having the partner repeat what he or she heard is an effective
tool in teaching reflective listening.
What can teachers do to promote SEL?
In addition to providing instruction in social and emotional skills, teachers’ involvement in promoting SEL goes beyond the classroom and
includes the following:
• Participating on a school team or committee that selects an SEL program and oversees the implementation and evaluation of SEL
• Communicating regularly with students’ families about SEL classroom activities to encourage reinforcement of SEL lessons at home
• Modeling and providing opportunities for students to practice and apply SEL skills in the classroom
• Using participatory instructional methods that draw on students’ experience and engage them in learning
• Using SEL skills in teaching academic subjects to enhance students’ understanding. For example, in language arts or social studies
lessons, students can be encouraged to discuss how characters or historical figures did or did not express understanding of others’
feelings or use good problem-solving skills
Let’s both tests begin at once
CREATE TEST WRITE A REFLECTION
Two boys: Christian (7) and Daniel (6)
Class: Ancient History and Classical Laws (Jewish Legislation)
Time: 2 hours
Test: Role playing. I used my house as a university class (I have three different offices at home with hundreds of books, tables, chairs ). I
asked them to play the role of a university student as best as possible. I know both of them very well, so I promised them some cookies and
chocolate after the test. They agreed without a word (remind me to teach them soon Negotiations Advanced Skills, poor boys ). I used
many books, a board, I wore suit with tight and so on. And alas, both testers experienced it.
I must tell you that both of them, two young rascals learned a lot, enjoyed the class (2 hours!!) and expressed his sincere and honest desire
to learn more about that.
I made them read two stories. I treated them as adults. First of all, I indicated them what we were going to learn, the purpose of the lesson,
what should they expect from the class and how could they use it.
After reading the two selected stories, I taught them those Ancient Jewish Laws that would apply on these two stories. And, I put them
questions, open questions to see what had they understood and how would they manage both cases according to the laws indicated.
Suddenly, they start giving well-reasoned answers. They analysed both stories in group, and with my help, the three of us as a team started
to solve both cases. Christian and Daniel are brothers and usually shout each other, are competitive when playing. But, during this exercise
and once the class was over, their attitude changed. They were working all together trying to solve that legal puzzle, talking, showing their
opinions. Obviously, they did not react as adults, but, wow, their behaviour seemed to have grown older at least four-five years.
Most important of all, they enjoyed the class and they reached the knowledge presented.
However, I realised that I can’t say that the test really worked. Did they attend the class just because they would receive chocolate and
cookies? Do they really want to learn something? Do they really understand why they have to study and prepare themselves?
TEST 1: CHILDREN TEST 2: ADULTS
To sum up:
What aspects worked well? The class, staging, methodology, the whole test.
What could be improved? Preparation of the class and the teacher.
Any new ideas? Children do not need too much books and an environment too cold or too much sophisticated to learn: the simpler the
better. They like the teacher’s interest on them. They feel if the teacher enjoys the lesson or not, and, as a result, they strengthen their
concentration or weaken their attention.
Any new questions that need exploring? I would like to try it with more classes and see each student capacity to foster it. Christian and
Daniel have their own capacities: Christian loves reading and Daniel loves creating (he will be an excellent mechanical engineering or
whatever he wants to be) and his sibling will be a great philologist (or whatever he wants to be). I don’t want to force to choose what I think
should be their calling. It is better to teach them to choose it by themselves. Montessori said that it is better to show a landscape and invite
somebody to stare at it than to show a landscape and say where to look at. What if I mix SEL+Edupunk? What if I mix SEL+Montessori?
CREATE TEST WRITE A REFLECTION
Two adults: Joseph (38) Manager Director and Samuel (32) Graduate in Economics
Class: Financial Theory.
Time: 2 hours (well, each week during this summer I’m teaching them B.E. and F.T. 4 hours per week)
Test: Role playing. I used my house as a class
Note that they pay nothing for this. I do it for free (yep, that is the way I exercise my CSR).
Each class is given in English, so they can improve their English level. However, their level has not improved substantially owing to they do
not do their homework.
During the class, they enjoy it, they ask a lot, they want to learn, they show a clear interest on the lectures. But, they relent to do their
homework only if I tirelessly go on about.
They work in pairs sometimes they always discuss each case I show them.
But, it seems to be that adults only study with all their heart if they are paying for it. I suppose that when we grow up, we think that what we
have to pay is better than what is free of cost. And, as a consequence, our interest and commitment grow or diminish depending on how
expensive it is. What a pity! Next summer all the students will pay for my services, five grand at least! Also, due to both of them are expertise
on their jobs, they do not accept my explanations and solutions as the best ones or even the real ones. On the contrary, even when they see
the solution, sometimes they are reluctant to accept it. I have to make an effort to teach them and later, convince them about the goodness of
To sum up:
What aspects worked well? The class, staging and methodology.
TEST 1: CHILDREN TEST 2: ADULTS
What could be improved? The students’ attitude concerning the lectures.
Any new ideas? What I’m going to tell now has been analysed in some studies made during the course by other students: we are less
adaptable as we grow up. So, making changes is a real challenge. I mean, my adult students are reluctant to change their minds mainly
because they are adults, because they think that what they know is the best because has helped them to have a good job, reputation As a
result, they don’t care about other points of view.
Any new questions that need exploring? Make my students pay for my services on summer, definitely. Before the classes start, I have to
give a commencement opening speech about the implications and reverberations of self-commitment and obligation that must exist from the
student side towards the course. It is free of cost, but if you want to take profit from it, you have to work. (Wha??? Working for nothin’???...
yes that surely will be their first verbal reaction I’ll keep you informed).
CREATE TEST WRITE A REFLECTION
And now, here you have my reflections covering:
a. What I learned by testing my prototypes;
b. What I would do next if I were to continue working on the project (and surely I will).
First of all, I have learned what I have been suspecting all along this summer. I have to teach children, because when adults arrive at my
courses are spoilt. Just kidding But, truth be told, it is more difficult to teach adults (or teenagers) than children. Today, everybody has
access to all kind of information what is generalizing self-education in some cases.
We are more inflexible, less adaptable as we grow up and get older. We lose the capacity of reinventing ourselves. And it increases the
chances of getting stuck at one’s life. Probably, the school-to-work transition handicap is not that the educational system has failed (although
it can be part of the problem) but it remains on our human nature. Selfishness, pig-headedness are characteristics that exist today and
complicates our existence and consequently our lives and calls.
What I would do next if I were to continue working on the project? Yes, making people pay money for my services. Corporate Social
Responsibility is cool but does not work to motivate the user to really appreciate what is been given free of cost. Well, sometimes work:
although this Design Thinking Action Lab is completely free, you and me are working hard on it. We are good. The way we show our deep
appreciation for this course is by means of our work.