Math 7-9

Systems Change
Math 7-9 > Factors > Social Awareness & Relationship Skills

Social Awareness & Relationship Skills

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How Social Awareness & Relationship Skills connects to...

Learning is powerful when it is social—when we learn with and from each other. Social Awareness & Relationship Skills are essential for forming and maintaining positive relationships and are a key component to learner success, including learning math.

Main Ideas

  • Social Awareness is the understanding of social norms for behavior and the ability to understand the perspectives and feelings of others. Social Awareness allows learners to empathize with people from diverse backgrounds that are different from their own. During adolescence, the need to belong and "fit in" with peers is heightened. Adolescents are therefore particularly sensitive to social comparisons, peer influence, and social rejection. As relationships with peers become more important, their behavior in the classroom may be restricted by their concerns about what their peers think of them.

  • Relationship Skills are specific interpersonal skills based on Social Awareness that allow students to communicate and get along with others, cooperate, and prevent and resolve interpersonal conflicts. These skills can also include cross-cultural competence such as understanding different norms and conventions and using appropriate verbal and nonverbal behavior in diverse cultural situations. Greater intercultural contact can help build these skills.

Students with strong Social Awareness & Relationship Skills show lower levels of conduct problems and emotional distress and better social adjustment and academic achievement.

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