June 7th, 2020

SEL - Train them for Potluck and not TopChef

We have centered our education system (and probably a lot of social contractual systems) as Top Chefs. We train for success and the message that gets amplified is "it is a zero-sum game". This is inherent in the winning/losing and ranks and awards structured in different competitions/scenarios in all walks of life.

Our psychological evolution has been primed for survival and the winning/losing set up leads to implicitly making it as our first instinct. So much so, that even when the situation requires us to work collaboratively, we more often tend to play competitively. Nature works with a explore/exploit strategy. SEL is the explore that is missing.

If we can think of each situation as a game (Top Chef vs. Potluck), we will find people playing Top Chef strategies in most Potluck games. SEL focused on teaching kids at a young age on how to identify a situation as Top Chef vs. Potluck can help them identify their social and emotional persona more accurately and help in community building and change the climate and culture to one of equity and focused on relationships.

Covid-19 has made that ample clear and we can either acknowledge the deficiencies of the metrics we use and take our chance to make this "we are in this together" moment the epitome of our education system using SEL or we can do the lip service and go back to business as usual.

Tags: Climate and culture, community building, equity, family, relationships

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