Teaching individuals to be good social thinkers requires us to start our teaching at the foundation level and build up from there. Our Social Thinking Social Learning Tree poster visually explores the social learning process and is a reminder of how social skills start from a root system that is built upon social thinking and social problem solving.
Treatments for students with social learning challenges often fail to get to the core of the learning issues involved. Instead of exploring the deeper social know-how the student needs to understand context, consider the perspectives of others, or interpret motives, innuendos, or sarcasm, treatments often focus on the skill set or lesson being taught. This poster describes the social learning process using the analogy of a tree and illuminates that when we start our teaching “in the leaves” we overlook essential knowledge and strategies that can help individuals learn to think socially so they can understand how to act in a socially acceptable manner.
Social learning roots develop based on the brain’s initial capacity and can grow more robust with intervention. They include social developmental concepts such as theory of mind, central coherence, executive functions, language, cognition, and sensory processing. The trunk, dependent on growth of the roots, includes (in part) the concepts related to the ILAUGH Model of Social Thinking. Each branch then represents one aspect of a diverse range of concepts/skills that emerge from the trunk’s core conceptual development. Proficiency in, for example, reading comprehension, working as part of a group, written expression, conversational language, sharing an imagination, and playground play all require core social thinking/social learning skills. The leaves on the branches represent the range of skills commonly taught to help develop and strengthen the social concepts illustrated on the branches. These essential social learning concepts lay the groundwork to help students gain the knowledge they need to meet their Common Core/state educational standards as well as relate better with their peers.
For additional learning on our Social Thinking Social Learning Tree and the ideas behind it, see:
Chapter 5 in Why Teach Social Thinking?
- For: Parents and professionals
- Ages: Concepts relate to all ages
- Published: 2014
- Publisher: Think Social Publishing, Inc.
- Format: Poster, Dimensions 36″ x 24″ or 914.40 mm x 609.60 mm
- Item: 9781936943180