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Social and emotional pedagogies: critiquing the new orthodoxy of emotion in classroom behaviour management

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This paper examines new structured attempts to address and manage emotions in the classroom. Critical analysis focuses on the broad emotional literacy agenda operating within schools, and more specifically the Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) programme. Data are drawn on from an ethnographic study located in Behaviour Support Units in three mainstream, inner-city comprehensives to highlight the gap between the 'rational emotionality' being promoted and the fraught, and often uncontainable, emotions that drive everyday school life. It is also argued that the therapeutic model underpinning SEAL activities in schools risks individualising and thereby misinterpreting socially and culturally embedded difference, pathologising particular pupils in the process.
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Keywords: SEAL; behaviour support; emotionality; exclusion; inclusion

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Families & Social Capital Research Group, London South Bank University, London, UK

Publication date: 01 March 2011

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