Developing our young people to be Successful Learners, Confident Individuals, Responsible Citizens and Effective Contributors are the four main capacities stated within the Curriculum for Excellence (Scottish Government, 2020). Teachers have the responsibility to assist pupils in achieving these capacities, promoting their lifelong learning and ensuring they are learning within a supportive, nurturing environment. This enquiry arose through concerns that social skills and confidence levels were lacking in particular S1 pupils, through many not being keen on participating in activities such as group work and answering verbally in front of their peers.
Research implies that young people prefer their phones rather than actual human beings, suggesting social interaction tends to occur through electronic devices rather than face to face (Twenge, 2017). Additionally, Elksnin (1998) suggests young people who are unable to develop strong, appropriate social skills have a lower probability of behaving responsibly within a school setting and tend to achieve less than those with adequate social skills. Therefore, this enquiry was deemed suitable through Shih (2000) further suggesting that providing young people with goals, such as social goals, can result in a boost in pupils engagement and productivity, ultimately increasing their self-efficacy and success.
The aim of this investigation was to introduce a Social Learning Intention, into the classroom, over a series of lessons. The Social Learning Intention specifically focussed on a cluster of social skills including Talking, Listening and Kindness.