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Social Interactions in an Educational Setting

Children, in their development, learn things such as manners, social cues and values which are incorporated into their everyday lives. The more they develop these attributes, the quicker it becomes their second nature. David Rock’s SCARF model (2008) is a framework that helps improve social awareness and heightens one’s sense of EQ to advance these traits.

SCARF summarises important discoveries from neuroscience about the way people interact socially and is built on the idea that the human mind is organised to minimise threat and maximise reward.


The SCARF model encompasses the following concepts: Status: One’s importance in their society/community. The types of friends your children make can help influence their level of competitiveness and drive for education. When children surround themselves with those who have high academic aptitude, they may feel a little threatened. For children who rise above this feeling, it will drive them to excel in their studies. This creates a greater sense of reward which further drives their education outcomes. Certainty: Our concern for being able to predict the future. No one, no matter how well-educated or intelligent has the ability to predict the future with absolute certainty, let alone young children with limited experiences in life. This can lead to a negative impact on their anxiety levels, which in turn, impacts their education. Ultimately, the best way to combat this and give them control of what happens next is by equipping them with the right tools and resources to help them succeed; giving them one less threat of uncertainty.

Autonomy: Our sense of control over events Control over our lives is what most people aim to achieve; knowing what will happen next brings us comfort and a sense of security. In the context of education, the best way that students can maximise their reward is by increasing their ability to study with an effective framework. By doing this, students become better prepared at controlling the outcome of their education. Relatedness: A sense of safety with others - of friend rather than foe A student’s ability to make friends is determined by how well they can empathise and relate to those around them. By being in an environment where they can connect with each other, students have a tendency to feel a greater sense of satisfaction, leading to better concentration and improved learning outcomes.

Fairness: A perception of fair exchanges between people. All interactions, both personally and academically have to be seen as if a student is getting their fair share of the value. Without this, the incentive to learn becomes limited.. By ensuring that your child gets their value for time, understand what outcomes you want for them and align them with the right support so that they reap the rewards of their education.

Having a framework such as SCARF is very important to determining the outcome of your child’s education. At EX Learning, we not only teach our students content - but also the skills to become lifelong learners, which is why we promote quality learning in small group settings. If you have any questions or would like to chat about our approach, contact us today and we’ll be happy to address any queries you have.

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