In the school context the social skills favor the didactic learning by:

  • improving the climate of class
  • motivating students
  • allowing the insertion of complex work strategies into effect
  • facilitating the development of the thought
  • promoting the ability of collaboration, of self-affirmation and of integrity
  • promoting the creation of confidence and empathy
  • promoting maturity of the individual: to face stress and frustration in a constructive way;
  • fostering the understanding and to know how to manage the difference among public, private and working context
  • promoting the interest of the partner-economic development, of the intercultural communication
  • fostering the ability to communicate in constructive ways in diverse environments
  • the assessment of the difference, respecting the others and being prepared to win prejudices, showing tolerance and understanding different points of view

Therefore, CULPEER proposes a methodology to teach the understanding and the learning of social competences [1]. The process of learning such competences works through five consecutive steps that are summarised below for a general overview and a quick understanding of actions to take. The five steps are:

  1. Choice of competences
  2. Raising awareness and motivation
  3. Framing of the competences components: “T Card”
  4. Application of competences
  5. Monitoring of group work

The first step is to gather the pupils in couples or in small groups and to give them a task. Make a list, as wide as possible, of the social competences that you consider important to efficiently work in groups. Then share it and discuss with the class group to select the more important social competences to work efficiently together. This would take 10-15 minutes.

It is also necessary to underline the way according to which the class group will be observed and evaluated. To such purpose the teacher can use a structure called “T Card”.

Drawing a “T Card” with the class group means to prepare a chart as the following on which is pointed out the social competence that it is intended to learn, defined through described verbal and non-verbal behaviors. It is necessary that the behaviors listed in the chart are expressed in a specific, objective and observable way. It is also necessary to give continuous observations, offering more occasions to practice and to discuss in order to be able to make an objective evaluation. For instance:

COMPETENCE Active listening
NON-VERBAL BEHAVIORS - I stay close to the one who speaks
- I turn towards the one who speaks
- I look the person in the eyes
- I concentrate and think of what the person is telling me
- I nod with my head
- I lean (if necessary) to listen better
- I open my mouth if I am astounded
- I see!
- Understood
- Really?
- No way!
- Interesting!
- Of course!
- I agree
- Mmmh...
- Asking questions to understand better

Social competences can be identified in every situation that implies an interaction. Here are some ideas you may want to use in your class group:

1. Start and run of the group:

a)    Forming the group orderly
b)    Be part of the group
c)    Containing your voice tone
d)    Recognizing each other and using conventional signs
e)    Being respectful

2. Efficient operation

a)    Listening actively
b)    Asking for help or clarifications
c)    Giving help and support
d)    Exchanging information
e)    Adjusting pace and timing
f)    Encourage and commend

3. Optimize the group learning

a)    Repeating, summarize and explaining
b)    Integrating other people’s comments
c)    Verifying the comprehension mutually
d)    Analyzing in depth giving concrete explanations

4. Stimuli for further analysis

a)    Argumentation judging the ideas and not people
b)    Asking each other questions
c)    Developing alternatives and different points of view
d)    Summarizing clearly
e)    Reflecting and assessing the group efficiency


[1] Costruire abilità sociali in contesti di apprendimento - San fedele Intelvi -2010 /

Last modified: Sunday, 15 July 2018, 1:04 PM