The Journal of Secondary Alternate Education

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The Journal of Secondary Alternate Education

 

Volume 13, Issue 2 (2016, February)

 

This issue:

A Socio-Emotional Program for the Language Arts

 

 

Introduction 

The entertainment industry floods earth with movies each year. Many of these movies “entertain” audiences through mindless profanity, gore, and explicit sex. Their gratuitous shock value, in the eyes of many, make them educationally unsound. Teachers who show such movies to their students invite criticism not only from parents, administrators, and school board trustees, but from students themselves. On the other hand, some movies, not mindlessly gratuitous, offer themselves as wonderful vehicles for socio-emotional learning that can help students cope with themselves and each other—and with unforeseen circumstances (New World Translation, Ecclesiastes 9:11). 

The movies described in this program, I feel, offer themselves likewise. I have chosen themes, springing from the movies, for class discussions—themes that seem to touch the adolescent psyche. I have tested all the assignments on my secondary alternate students, and their lively discussions, thoughtful written responses, and meditative gesturings have prompted me to share this program with my colleagues. Written assignments can fit easily into any Communications or English, and in some cases Social Studies, courses. Some themes focus more on literary or political than on socio-emotional exploration, but the suggested discussions, naturally interpersonal, place students in a social constructivist forum that promotes socio-emotional learning. Of course I want students to exit from at least some of these socio-emotional adventures with increased intrapersonal understanding that will help them make responsible choices throughout their lives. 

I hope you and your students enjoy this program as much as my students and I have. 

 

Dan Lukiv