*CDL research group seminar series* Interconnected and Interpersonal: Capturing How Children Understand Emotions in Middle Childhood

Part of: Child Development and Learning – Seminar Programme MT22

Social-emotional learning (SEL) in education is concerned with the promotion of student social-emotional skill, however more research is needed to explain how ‘emotional learning’ relates to ‘social learning’ across development and SEL curricula. This talk will focus on the skill of identifying emotions by dialoguing findings from two studies concerned with child emotion representation and understanding across middle childhood (ages 8 to 11). The first, a systematic review and meta-analysis of SEL interventions conducted in Years 4 to 6 identifies how emotions have been ‘taught’ to children across SEL curricula, and tests whether SEL intervention participation can directly promote child emotion understanding. Study 1 findings are then contrasted with those of a linguistic analysis study of child emotion definitions (Study 2) concerned with the conceptual representation of emotion as it relates to internal state language (both emotion and cognitive mental state terms). A methodology for capturing a child’s individual system for representing emotions (based on the child’s language) is presented. Implications for promoting emotion understanding in the classroom are discussed from theoretical and practical lenses, with an additional focus on extending such research to different age bands and cultural contexts.