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Inspire learning by connecting socio emotional learning with academic instruction

Educational practices often fail to systematically integrate socio-emotional skills (SES) with academic instruction, leading to significant gaps in student development. TONGO is a systematic creative process that empowers educators to seamlessly connect socio-emotional skills with academic content, using metaphors to foster meaningful learning and well-being.


Information on this page is provided by the innovator and has not been evaluated by HundrED.

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Target group
April 2024
TONGO aims to revolutionize education by using creative thinking to integrate socio-emotional learning with academic instruction. We envision classrooms where educators are equipped with the tools to seamlessly blend these critical skills, fostering well-rounded development and preparing students for the complexities of life.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

TONGO was inspired by fieldwork with public school teachers in Colombia, addressing classroom climate issues. Key challenges identified include integrating academic instruction with socio-emotional learning, as well as providing educators with creative tools for dynamic, reality-connected, and effective lesson planning.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

TONGO IS an instructional design method that, through a formula, creates a connection between knowing how to do (academic content) and knowing how to be (socio-emotional learnings) that are chosen, using metaphors as a common thread.

How has it been spreading?

Currently we have trained 65 educators, we started by offering a free creativity course to test the method and then contacted a public school principal that open the doors of his school after seeing the aligmne tand necesity os something like tongo

If I want to try it, what should I do?

Contact us, we can give you some already developed lesson plans to test. Our preferred method is get trained on the method, or work with a TONGO facilitator to help you developed your own lesson plans.

Implementation steps

Select the academic content
In this step the educator selects which part of their academic content they wish to deliver using the TONGO method.
Select the socio-emotional skills
Educators select which socio-emotional skills they want to develop. Currently TONGO has a list of pre-determined socio-emotional skills following the OECD revised Big Five theory. The method is also adaptable to the specific needs of the school/educator.
In this step, the educators review relevant information about the selected socio-emotional skill.
Establish the Creative Formula
Select a connecting word to help find the creative connections between the socio-emotional skill and the academic content.
Propose a Metaphor
Using creative thinking techniques educators are guided to find a suitable metaphor based on the creative formula.
Establish the Learning Objective
Using the metaphor as a guide to ensure equal rigour and development in both the academic content and the socio-emotional skills, the educators establish the learning objective for the session.
Establishing a content hierarchy
In this step the content to be delivered will be classified in three important parts:
- Context: good to know but not absolutely necessary.
- Transport: the basic concepts that need to be learned about the academic content and the socio emotional skill.
- Great ideas: the connections. Inspired by metaphor, it describes the basic concepts in terms of the connections between the academic content and the socio-emotional skill.
Planning the class activities
Define the activities for each session moment and how you will deliver it. Establish the resources and time requirements.
Establishing evaluation and indicators
Educators can use the 20 cards of possible assignments that integrate the use of digital/analog tools as tasks to be given to students to take home and bring their own contextual experiences. Using creative thinking, develop ways to evaluate the experience that align with the regulatory requirements as well as active learning methodologies.

Spread of the innovation

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