We are delighted to have featured in the SSAT Autumn 2016 research journal. Here's a little excerpt and you can read the entire article via our PDF link.
How does level of self-control affect our learners?
Imagine you are sitting in a staff meeting vital to the work you are about to do and your colleague is giving a presentation outlining the most important parts. Suddenly, you realise that you haven’t heard anything they’ve been saying, you have zoned out and your attention has been elsewhere. There is not much you can do now but try to pick up what is happening, but this is not easy. This is a regular scenario in lessons for children with low self-control.
The wandering mind is a natural state that we all slip into from time to time, and as Goleman (2013) reminds us, it has its purpose and benefits. Consider the dog that spends his walk merrily following the various scents and calls of nature – this is the purpose of the walk. The freedom to enjoy the scents as they arrive is what makes it more enjoyable; and sniffing out his surroundings is a way of spotting potential danger.
But wandering becomes a problem when the distractions take over. Say the dog is so engrossed by a sound he rushes off and becomes lost? Becoming lost was not a conscious choice; it was a result of an impulse. Now consider children: for those who struggle with low self-control the wandering mind regularly takes over and becomes a barrier to their learning and wellbeing.
In other words, children with low self-control struggle to direct their attention purposefully. Without the basic emotional intelligence baseline of awareness, they are not able to see or control the relationship between their impulses, choices and consequences. So they become trapped in cycles of behaviour detrimental to their wellbeing. This affects their learning, it affects the way they build relationships with their peers – and it affects their ability to observe, understand and live with the systems that society creates to maintain communal wellbeing....