Local counselor worries prolonged distance learning may stunt social development

It is important for students, especially elementary students, to be taught in classrooms, a local licensed professional counselor said.

There are components of the learning environment schools provide that don’t translate into online lessons, Edward Acosta of Piña & Acosta Psychological Associates said Monday. The transition to virtual learning due to the coronavirus pandemic puts a hold on the critical social lessons students pick up from being at school.

“Many of us learned our social skills from our teachers,” Acosta said. “We had learned social regulation from our school, not just from our parents but from our teachers. If you recall, we probably spent more time with our teachers than we did with our parents, and they were our models of prosocial behavior, of how to interact with people.”

According to research by Albert Mehrabian, a psychology professor at the University of California in Los Angeles, 7% of a

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