Social and Emotional Development is a critical prerequisite to learning, allowing children to develop confidence, a sense of self, positive relationships and respect for others. The LEGO® Future of Learning report suggests that three key needs must be met for growth and learning to take place. All three relate to Social and Emotional Development:
Competence is a belief in one’s own abilities (self-efficacy) and working effectively within, and adapting to, the environment. For example, preschool children often have to choose another toy, book, or activity if their first choice is unavailable.
Autonomy is the need to ‘be in charge of one’s own life’. For example, preschool teachers encourage children to put on their own outdoor clothes even though it requires extra time. The growing need for autonomy at this age can lead children to become fiercely independent declaring ‘I want to do it myself!’
Relatedness is being connected to others and collaborating. For example, collaboration can be as simple as taking turns or engaging in parallel play where children play side by side. It can develop into more intense collaboration when children begin to work together and be influenced by each other as they strive to complete a task.