Social Intervention in Educational Contexts

November 3, 2019
Social intervention in the field of education can change students' whole paths. Would you like to know why? Read on!

Going to school can be very challenging for students as well as for their parents or their guardians. They might experience bullying, failing grades, absences, difficult situations at home, learning difficulties, etc. Sometimes, students need a third party in order to solve certain problems. That’s why social intervention in educational contexts can be very important.

The years you spend in school have an impact on the rest of your life. This part of your life often forges your personality in a powerful way. You might even say that you learn to find your place in society there. During those years, you spend a lot of time with your peers.

Even though each student’s context might be different, the educational institution needs to do their part so that the students, whatever their social or cultural background might be, can construct a positive self-image. Schools should also help them incorporate themselves into the school’s daily social life. It’s also important for them to be able to take advantage of whatever educational opportunities might be available to them (Fernández and Fernández, 2011).

It’s important to reiterate that the educational process involves getting the student into a situation that allows for their free and harmonious development.

Rosell (1998) states that this process should be considered as a whole. This means that it should include educators as well as other professionals who might cover the “gaps” in the educational system. Psychologists, social workers, speech therapists, and educational psychologists are just some examples of such professionals.

Educators planning out social intervention projects.

Social intervention in educational contexts

In some autonomous communities, governments created the position of technical professor of community services. As the authorities we cited previously say, they created these positions to efficiently intervene in high-risk situations. They also created them to prevent the possible social and educational exclusion of students in these situations. With this, they hoped these students would have a better chance of being involved with and of taking advantage of mandatory secondary education.

Aside from this position, certain educational orientation teams and educational psychologists are also available. Their jobs are to assess, support, and collaborate with the faculty to improve the quality of education.

The International Federation of Social Workers believes that the educational arena is the first place you can detect family and social problems (F.I.T.S cited in Roselló, 1998). Let’s not forget that any problem that’s detected early can help you to prevent or lessen their effects.

The goal of social intervention in the educational arena, as such, is to cooperate so that any student will have the same opportunities as the others. This should also happen regardless of their origin, family situation, or social environment.

You can achieve this by working with the student and with their family. You have to try to ensure that those responsible for the student also get involved. This will allow the student to achieve complete adaptation and success.

You can also say that intervention tends to begin with problem identification. These interventions are often linked to the private sphere. This means that external associations or businesses hold educational and informative chats.

“Educate the children and it won’t be necessary to punish the men.”

-Pythagoras-

But what can we do from the educational sphere itself?

Given that professionals are available, we have to stress the need to direct the students toward a healthy lifestyle. When we talk about “healthy”, people generally think that this expression refers to the physical side of health. However, you shouldn’t forget the importance of mental health. Developing healthy teens and adults, who have social skills and healthy recreational alternatives in terms of life development, is essential.

A girl being tutored.

The social worker’s function in the educational context

Social workers can apply their skills in various contexts. One of these is the educational one. It’s worth noting that there’s still a lot of ground to explore in this field. Yet even now, there are many possibilities for people in the profession.

Within the realm of social intervention in educational contexts, we would like to point out some of its different functions (Iglesias and Ortuño, 2017):

  • To collaborate in the creation of projects involving education centers. This is especially important in relation to sociocultural environmental conditions as well as the social and family lives of children.
  • To inform and direct parents on the scope of their functions and how to best use their parenthood.
  • To attend to and resolve individual situations among the student body. Some academic examples of these are frequent absences and poor performance. Socially, some possible problems are: problems relating to others or communicating with them, an inability to adapt to changes, and problems with getting along with others or aggression.
  • To collaborate in the development of training programs for families.
  • To create and disseminate materials that might be of use for the teachers. This includes instruments that might be of use to them.
  • To provide the educational center with the necessary information regarding the resources available in the community.
  • Finally, to inform others on social and educational needs that should be taken into account in order to conduct adequate educational planning.

The position of social workers

People should also consider the social worker’s position within the educational context to be more important than they currently do. As agents of change and professionals of change, they should also play a fundamental role in the educational community. They’re also essential for improving the well-being of people in their communities and the way they get along.

Don’t forget that setting good foundations in the minors you educate today is to plant the seeds for a better future.

  • Fernández, I., & Fernández, C. (2011). La intervención social en el contexto educativo: funciones y expectativas de los PTSC en la Comunidad de Madrid. Revista Iberoamericana de Educación / Revista Ibero-americana de Educação.
  • Ortuño, E. I., & Muñoz, E. O. (2018). Trabajo Social y mediación para la convivencia y el bienestar escolar. Cuadernos de Trabajo Social31(2), 375-387.
  • Roselló Nadal, E. (1998). Reflexiones sobre la intervención del trabajador social en el contexto educativo. Alternativas. Cuadernos de Trabajo Social, N. 6 (octubre 1998); pp. 233-258.