Emotional Bodies: Reflections on Emotional Learning in Schools


  • Simone Digennaro Università degli Studi di Cassino e del Lazio Meridionale




Emotional education, Emotional skills, Teaching, Body and emotion, School


For some time now, the school is reflecting on the emotional education. A Growing number of projects and specific activities were developed as effect of a large interest on a theme that, in the past, was barely investigated. The pioneering work of the projects opened interesting scenarios, illuminating, at the same time, the huge potentialities of such a kind of education and the difficulties in changing the teaching practices. The research in the sector continues to provide evidence of the crucial role of emotional skills in the growth and maturation of the individuals and of the fundamental role that the school can play in the development of these important skills. The scientific recognition and the background of the projects were two important steps. The following one is regarded to insert, systematically, the educational emotion in the curriculum at school, gathering the important aspects of the projects already implemented and overcoming the barriers that still exist. The paper wants to contribute to the debate by focusing on the issues concerning the methodology and the teaching practices.


Aikaterini, V., Athanasios, M., Eleni, A., & Konstantinos, K. (2014). Students’ achievement goals, emotion perception ability and affect and performance in the classroom: a multilevel examination. Educational Psychology: An International Journal of Experimental Educational Psychology, 2-19.

Brackett, M. A., Elbertson, N. A., & Rivers, S. E. (2015). Applying theory to the development of approaches to SEL. In J. A. Durlak, C. E. Domitrovich, R. P. Weissberg, & T. P. Gullotta (Eds.), Handbook of Social and Emotional Learning: Research and Practice (pp. 20-32). New York: The Guildford Press.

Brophy, J. (2008). Developing students’ appreciation for what is taught in school. Educational Psychologist, 43, 132-141.

Cavioni, V. & Zanetti, A. (2015). Social-emotional learning and students’ transition from kindergarten to primay school in Italy. In Askell-Williams, H. & Lawson, M.J. (Eds.). Transforming the future of learning with educational research (pp. 241-256). Heshey, PA: IGI Global.

Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (2013). Implementing systemic district and school social and emotional learning. Chicago: CASEL.

Denham, S. (1998). Lo sviluppo emotivo nei bambini. Roma: Astrolabio.

Durlak, J. A., Weissberg R. P., Dymnicki, R., Taylor R. D. & Schellinger K. B. (2011). The impact of enhancing students’ social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school-based universal interventions. Child Development, 82, 405-432.

Eksi, Y. G. (2013). E-dialogue journal: Student teachers’ perspectives on their school experience. Procedia–Social and Behavioural Sciences, 70, 1810-1819.

Ekman, P., & Friesen, W. (1975). Unmasking the face. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.

Elias, M.J. & Harrett, H. (2006). The educator’s guide to emotional intelligence and academic achievement. Social-emotional learning in the classroom. USA: Corwin Press.

European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice/Cedefop, (2014). Tackling Early Leaving from Education and Training in Europe: Strategies, Policies and Measures. Eurydice and Cedefop Report. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

Galimberti, U. (2005). Il corpo. Milano: Feltrinelli.

Gardner, H. (1999). Sapere per comprendere. Discipline di studio e disciplina della mente. Milano: Universale Economica Feltrinelli.

Goleman, D. (2005). Intelligenza emotiva. Milano: BUR.

Grazzani, I., Ornaghi, V. & Antoniotti, C. (2011). La competenza emotiva dei bambini: Proposte psicoeducative per le scuole dell’infanzia e primaria. Trento: Erickson.

Hamre, K. B., & Pianta, C. R. (2006). Student-teacher relationships. In G. G. Bear, & K. M. Minke (Eds.), Children’s needs III: Development and prevention (pp. 59-71). Washington, DC: National Association of School Psychologists.

Hyson, M. (2004). The Emotional development of young children. building an emotion-centered curriculum. New York: Teachers College Press.

Hoffman, D.M. (2009). Reflecting on social emotional learning: a critical perspective on trends in the United States. Review of Educational Research, 79, 533-556.

Humphries, M.L., Williams B.V., & May T. (2018): Early Childhood Teachers' Perspectives on Social-Emotional Competence and Learning in Urban Classrooms, Journal of Applied School Psychology, 34 (2), 157-179.

Izard, C. (1977). Human emotions. New York: Plenum Press.

Le Breton, A. (2007). Il sapore del mondo. Un’antropologia dei sensi. Milano: Raffaello Cortina.

Mariani, U. & Schiralli, R. (2012). Intelligenza emotiva a scuola. Percorso formativo per l’apprendimento con gli alunni. Trento: Centro Studi Erickson.

Odgen, P. & Fisher, J. (2015). Psicoterapia sensomotoria. Interventi per il trauma e l’attaccamento. Milano: Raffaello Cortina Editore.

Pampler, J. (2012). The history of emotions. An Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Pellai, A. (2016). L’educazione emotiva. Come educare al meglio i nostri bambini grazie alle neuroscienze. Milano: Fabbri Editori.

Robinson, K., & Aronica, L. (2015). Creative schools. The grassroots revolution that’s transforming education. New York: Penguin Books.

Rüppel, F., Liersch, S., & Walte, U. (2015). The influence of psychological well-being on academic success. Journal of Public Health, 23, 15-24

Saarni, C., (1999). The development of emotional competence, New York: Guilford Press.

Saarni, C. & Harris P.L. (1989). Children’s understanding of emotion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Scheer, M. (2012). Are emotions a kind of practice (and is that what makes them have a history)? A bourdieuan approach to understanding emotion. History and theory, 51(2), 193-220.

Srivastava, S., Maya, T., Kelly, M., McGonigal, P.P.J., & Gross, J.J. (2014). The social costs of emotional suppression: a prospective study of the transition to college. Journal of personality and social psycology, 96(4), 883-97.

Stanbridge, J.K., Campbell L. N. (2016): Case study evaluation of an intervention planning tool to support emotional well-being and behaviour in schools. Educational Psychology in Practice, 32(3), 1-19.

Van Kleef, G. (2017). Le dinamiche interpersonali delle emozioni. Verso una teoria integrativa delle emozioni come informazioni sociali. Roma: Giovanni Fioriti Editore.

Watt Smith, T. (2018). Atlante delle emozioni umane. Milano: UTET.



How to Cite

Digennaro, S. (2018). Emotional Bodies: Reflections on Emotional Learning in Schools. Encyclopaideia, 22(52), 13–23. https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.1825-8670/8671