Emotional education as a way to solve absenteeism in schools

How could the percentages of school absenteeism decrease in Spanish schools? This question is asked almost daily by teachers, parents and all those related to the educational world. There is probably not a single answer to this question, but an investigation suggests an interesting path: through emotional formation.

The study, published last July and carried out by the International University of Valencia (VIU) draws attention to a serious problem in Spain: school absenteeism almost doubles the percentage of other OECD countries. In particular, in our country this indicator is located in the 28 percent, while the average of the rest of countries reaches 15 percent.


In this way, the researchers Maria Estrella Alfonso and Cristina Gabarda argue that limitations in the emotional development of students can be associated with low academic performance, work processes and school dropout.

Emotional education for students

The work, which leads by motto Emotional intelligence, a key tool for student motivation and performance The conclusion is to advocate for the necessary implementation of the Emotional Education in the curriculum of the schools in order to increase academic performance rates and reduce both school failure and absenteeism.

According to these researchers, the rate of school absenteeism is one of the keys to assess the quality of the education system, a point at which Spain has a lot of work ahead: the population index that never fails to school is just over 70 percent, well below 85 percent of the average of other OECD countries.


Early school leaving among adolescents

Another indicator of education systems is early school leaving, that is, young people between the ages of 18 and 24 who are not studying after completing the compulsory stage. In our country it stands at almost 22 percent, a figure that, despite being high, is below the 29.9 percent that was a few years ago. However, it is twice the average of the European Union (11.1%) and, in turn, far from the recommendation: 15%.

In this line, the research carried out emphasizes that school absenteeism can have direct repercussions on a possible abandonment of the educational system, even going so far as to "definitively break with it". Thus, the researchers refer to the PISA 2012 study and indicate that students enrolled in schools with a high proportion of students who regularly miss class (that is, absenteeism not justified) "tend to obtain a worse performance".


Speaking of school failure, the study shows that Spain is at 14% versus 16% on average for the OECD. Even so, he insists on the need to "carry out policies that guide the reduction of this rate, through the motivation of the students".

Finally, they have also dealt with academic performance, a point in which the report highlights that in Spain it remains at European levels in areas such as Science or Reading, while learning Mathematics is 10 points below the OECD and five below the European average, when placed at 484 points.

Motivation in class for students

The study makes a review of all these data with a very clear purpose: to delve into the circumstances that encourage both school absenteeism and dropout and failure in schools. In this regard, he insists on his conclusions: the introduction of emotional training in the curricula would increase motivation and, therefore, will allow students to orientate themselves in the achievement of the goals and start a series of personal resources that allow them to achieve them.

The work reiterates the "necessary" implementation of emotional training in the curricula for their "multiple benefits". In this regard, he assures that it has no benefits only on the configuration of the personality of the children, but also for its effect on the performance and motivation since this kind of training allows the student to know himself better, regulate his emotions and abilities and stay connected. with what he does.

Although it is often said that "all comparisons are odious", it is necessary to know how other countries do it to see what measures can be implemented in our own education system. At this point, the study ensures that countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, as well as some Latin Americans and Africans, have been incorporating it into their curricula for years and this has allowed increase motivation rates and reduce school failure.

In this sense, the authors lament that in Spain "only an approximation to the emotional discipline but not a real incursion "because" it is not integrated into the curriculum "so that at the moment only the private schools that apply this type of training have concluded.

Angela R. Bonachera

Video: What Research Tells Us About Reducing Chronic Absenteeism


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