As a teacher, reading emotions in toddlers can be somewhat difficult as they see plenty of people every day. Researchers found that emoticons may help determine the emotional state of school-age children. Many students do not receive enough attention from their teachers. Using this tool can be helpful for teachers to encourage very young students to communicate their feelings.
Very young children still don't know how to express or understand their emotions.
Experts from the University of Exeter Medical School devised the ‘The How I Feel About My School’ (available as free download)
. It uses a variety of emoticons expressing happy, ok, or sad emotions to help teachers communicate with their very young students, especially when it comes to expressing complicated emotions. This questionnaire was tested in an experiment
involving around 2,300 students aged four to eight years old and proved reliable to use in very young children. The experiment and the project were supported by the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Applied Health Research and Care South West Peninsula.
The questionnaire is very simple. It asks a series of simple questions and the student answers (and states his or her feelings) by selecting the appropriate emoticon. The answers will reveal to the teacher the student’s emotions and have far more accurate results compared to asking questions verbally. Currently, the questionnaire is only meant for teachers and young students.
The student’s responses have a corresponding score, highest is 14. Average scores are around 11 to 12, while those encounterind difficulties scored lower. Students who were experiencing suspension or facing expulsion tend to score 8 or lower. Toddlers and very young children starting school have a very difficult time. At this point, they will have to live a life in the absence of a parent, but it is their first step toward independence. They have emotions that they often cannot express verbally. Meanwhile, there is urgency for teachers to connect with their students and, aside from heavy burden of teaching, ensure their wellbeing and happiness.
Children starting to go to school faces a tough time, initially. An understanding teacher may help ease this adjustment period.
Tools like this emoticon questionnaire may help provide fast and accurate results regarding a child’s wellbeing so the teacher can attend to the needs of students that need it the most. The information it reveals may also prove helpful for teachers in improving classroom management.
Check out WowScience
for more science news