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  1. #11
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I agree. I have read similar articles, and they all come across as trying to turn I_T/INT's into E_Fs of some kind. It reminded me of how people used to try to force lefties to use their right hands in school. School was trying enough in this respect without explicit "emotional training" using some not universally compatible model. Not everyone deals with emotions the same way, and that is - or at least should be - OK.
    I do think there are different kinds of conflicts between people, and they require different ways of dealing with it. It did seem to me that the approach mentioned in the OP would be good for dealing with situations where everyone basically means well, and just unintentionally mistreads people. Like in a romantic relationship, or among coworkers.

    I'm not sure how effective it would be with an abusive parent, or a bully. I suspect not very.

    I think a lot of elementary/preschool teachers are ExFs, so they might think this is awesome. But, thinking about how it would have made me feel, doing it in front of the whole class would be terrifying. I like to keep many of emotions relatively private, and will not discuss them with anyone, in any context. This isn't because I'm afraid and need "growth" to realize that I can say what's on my mind, but rather because I have found that many people are poorly equipped to deal with my feeling stuff because they are intense, and not something people can empathize with to begin with.

    As a kid, I think it would be even worse, because adults have a way of assuming that all kids are the same, even though they aren't. I can also see a lot of "no one is wrong, there are just different points of view" stuff that no one truly believes, and worse, denies that in conflict situations, sometimes one person can truly stand out as the asshole. I can see a lot of fake "impartiality" that is really nothing more than wanting to avoid making a decision and hope that the problem takes care of itself. I'm kind of extrapolating from the examples given to situations where this method is tried where there are conflicts between students.

    I mean, it's better than "stop whining about it, you're 6 years old and a man now", but it doesn't seem like a perfect solution.
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  2. #12
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    I think that you can absolutely learn emotional skills. While there are potential issues with teaching emotional skills in public schools, it should be noted that this 'new' 'social emotional learning' is the way humans have learned about their own emotions, regardless if they had good teachers or not, for as long as we formed groups and had families. Having evidence based teachers certainly sounds nice.

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    I see two sides to this. First, the idea is fascinating. If it could be done effectively, what an incredible advantage to the children who would have access to this kind of learning. A lot of EQ is innate but things can be learned. It's what we do as we mature.

    On the other side, it disturbs me. Putting myself in he shoes of a 5 year old participating in something like that, I think I would not be horrified but would not like participating in some of those exercises at all. It's just one more thing that makes the introverted thinking child uncomfortable. It is ripe for abuse - teachers imposing their values on children, private issues in families becoming public, etc. What are good EQ behaviors and bad ones? Yikes. ...
    Absolutely. Child is upset that mom is yelling and is taught to express self and to expect an apology like at school. Parent is not abusive, but does not apologize, believing that as the adult, they are to be respected when they speak. Emotional expression vs. parental authority. Who wins?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    Hmm. I find myself thinking of the child who learns to assert in this manner, goes home, tries out their new skill, and gets struck for the attempt. There's a lack of wisdom in this, no discernment of the subtlety of things ...
    While assuming we're not teaching children reckless confidence, let's say this does happen.

    Daddy is drunk, belligerent, the child is very upset and says "daddy, your yelling scares me" and the father hits the kid. The kid comes to his peer group and talks about it, and then the school knows about it, social services knows about it. This is a real double edged sword for family privacy, but bear with me:

    What might have happened otherwise, without the training at school?

    Daddy is drunk and belligerent. Young kid is afraid and hides in his room. The weight of family stress weighs on him, academic performance suffers, and he grows up thinking, spurred on by his parents, that he's a coward or a weakling and suppresses those emotions, becoming an abuser of his own variety until he learns to acknowledge those emotions honestly, which might never happen.

    This does seems like a good way to nip it in the bud...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Why is this an issue now?

    Did every society to date just take care of this without it being necessary for it to be on the public school curiculum and then why? And why isnt it take care of as a matter of course today?
    As I stated above, this whole idea is certainly not a new one. I think that past generations had considerably more sense of community, however, and the breakdown of what might be described as a whole village structure has been replaced in many places with nuclear families in the suburbs, in a state of high social isolation.

    Meaning that if you don't get it at home, you're probably not going to get it much anywhere else, and hence public schools being eyed as a way to fill the gap.

    That said, I strongly question the public curriculum emotionally groom children for compliance teach the children to process their emotions because I'm not sure what or how they are teaching.



    Perhaps simply learning how to gain insight into the emotions, whatever they are, without teaching what you should do with them, would be a better idea. Meditative focus. By just teaching how to observe emotions you can gain a large amount of benefit without the messiness of telling people what to do.
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  3. #13
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I agree. I have read similar articles, and they all come across as trying to turn I_T/INT's into E_Fs of some kind. It reminded me of how people used to try to force lefties to use their right hands in school. School was trying enough in this respect without explicit "emotional training" using some not universally compatible model. Not everyone deals with emotions the same way, and that is - or at least should be - OK. Schools would do better to teach basic reasoning, how to size up a situation and separate facts from opinion, link causes and effects, and understand risk and probability. This would help them be able to understand situations better, and make better decisions.

    Schools should start by setting the bar higher for behavior. This would include teaching students that it's OK to feel what you are feeling, but not OK to act on it in ways that are destructive, hurtful, or disrespectful. I would prefer to see the kindergarten circle focus on the type of incident that actually happens in school - say, kids fighting over the kickball at recess, or teasing a new student. This keeps the focus on school, respects family privacy, while at the same time giving kids skills that they should eventually feel confident enough applying elsewhere. I suppose this is just another version of conflict resolution training. The key is to show students that there are many right ways to approach a conflict, and to help them find what works for them.
    Sorry, now you re very much biased towards the logical side of things. Basic reasoning and risk probability as you call it is something that honestly does not come naturally in a similar way to other kinds of kids. I needed to understand the eq stuff before I could factor in this stuff, growing up. Also, if you are effectively teaching EQ - and therefore are qualified in the field as a teacher - one of the basic premises *IS* that everyone deals with emotions differently and that that is ok. That is part of what you would be teaching to the students. That, and finding their own way, as well as creating acceptance and awareness amongst others that your way - even if a bit different from what is commonly used - is just as valid. It's just part of the innate wisdom package that comes with EQ.

    The thing I worry about is...while I love the idea of doing this and kids should certainly be taught these tools, I fear that wisdom, which is often what you attain with raising your EQ, is something that only comes when someone is genuinely seeking it. Iow, it is *hard* to force someone to develop EQ who isnt ready, doesnt want to or generally just aint equipped for it yet. And the knowledge you teach them to get to that wisdom is often...well, its material that without that frame of mind that leads to wisdom, is rather dangerous and open to being abused for personal gain.
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  4. #14
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    Sorry, now you re very much biased towards the logical side of things. Basic reasoning and risk probability as you call it is something that honestly does not come naturally in a similar way to other kinds of kids. I needed to understand the eq stuff before I could factor in this stuff, growing up. Also, if you are effectively teaching EQ - and therefore are qualified in the field as a teacher - one of the basic premises *IS* that everyone deals with emotions differently and that that is ok. That is part of what you would be teaching to the students. That, and finding their own way, as well as creating acceptance and awareness amongst others that your way - even if a bit different from what is commonly used - is just as valid. It's just part of the innate wisdom package that comes with EQ.
    I was waiting for someone to point this out. I don't see the two approaches as equivalent, however, for two reasons. (1) Reasoning, logic, probability, etc. are easier to teach to a broader spectrum of people due to their more objective nature. If you are doing math problems, everyone should come up with the same answers. Emotional skills are much more subjective and results will vary, making it harder to teach to a diverse audience. (2) Reasoning skills are broadly applicable, and should be taught anyway, as part of the science curriculum if nothing else. Showing students how they can be used to address other sorts of problems, including conflicts and relationships, leverages what they are already learning, and reinforces it in both contexts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    The thing I worry about is...while I love the idea of doing this and kids should certainly be taught these tools, I fear that wisdom, which is often what you attain with raising your EQ, is something that only comes when someone is genuinely seeking it. Iow, it is *hard* to force someone to develop EQ who isnt ready, doesnt want to or generally just aint equipped for it yet. And the knowledge you teach them to get to that wisdom is often...well, its material that without that frame of mind that leads to wisdom, is rather dangerous and open to being abused for personal gain.
    I heard on the radio (NPR) recently that Charles Manson based many of his strategies for gaining and manipulating followers on the popular advice of Dale Carnegie. So yes, the right knowledge in the wrong hands does harm rather than good. I still can't imagine, though, being made to endure the kind of teaching described in the OP. What we had when I was in school was bad enough. Hopefully the people pushing these systems will be aware enough to make sure not to alienate people. That would defeat the purpose.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  5. #15
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I was waiting for someone to point this out. I don't see the two approaches as equivalent, however, for two reasons. (1) Reasoning, logic, probability, etc. are easier to teach to a broader spectrum of people due to their more objective nature. If you are doing math problems, everyone should come up with the same answers. Emotional skills are much more subjective and results will vary, making it harder to teach to a diverse audience. (2) Reasoning skills are broadly applicable, and should be taught anyway, as part of the science curriculum if nothing else. Showing students how they can be used to address other sorts of problems, including conflicts and relationships, leverages what they are already learning, and reinforces it in both contexts.


    I heard on the radio (NPR) recently that Charles Manson based many of his strategies for gaining and manipulating followers on the popular advice of Dale Carnegie. So yes, the right knowledge in the wrong hands does harm rather than good. I still can't imagine, though, being made to endure the kind of teaching described in the OP. What we had when I was in school was bad enough. Hopefully the people pushing these systems will be aware enough to make sure not to alienate people. That would defeat the purpose.
    K, let's take this to MBTI terms. Jung stated specifically that both F(i) and T(i) are rational processes. They are both equally subjective and objective, depending on the way you look at them, imho. Reasoning with values and emotions is just as 'accurate' as reasoning with logic is, and is the basis of EQ. And, either one can be twisted. Sure, with math you re supposed to get the same results. But that's hardly the only application of logic, cause and effect and probability. If you see how ENTPs take pleasure in arguing both sides of the same case, effectively playing devil's advocate at times, one begins to understand that logic is just as bendable as values are depending on how you frame it. Context is everything. And might I add, I flunked math (and redid it) coz I somehow always ended up making for me perfectly logical, but apparently not logical to *other people* types of leaps that got me a different conclusion

    My point is, reasoning isn't just the realm of logic. And it is just as doable to teach value-based reasoning. And much like with math and those other supposedly easier and more teachable skills according to you, there will be people who will struggle with it, and people who will take to it like a fish in water.
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  6. #16
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    My point is, reasoning isn't just the realm of logic. And it is just as doable to teach value-based reasoning. And much like with math and those other supposedly easier and more teachable skills according to you, there will be people who will struggle with it, and people who will take to it like a fish in water.
    Easier and most teachable are not the same thing. I agree with your comments about values-based reasoning. Most reasoning does include values, since we need some yardstick of what is important, what the priorities are. What I am objecting to is the way in which emotions are handled in this approach. Just expecting some people to talk about them, and in a very public setting, is likely to alienate some students in a very counterproductive way. I will likely have more comments later - it is late on my end now.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  7. #17
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Easier and most teachable are not the same thing. I agree with your comments about values-based reasoning. Most reasoning does include values, since we need some yardstick of what is important, what the priorities are. What I am objecting to is the way in which emotions are handled in this approach. Just expecting some people to talk about them, and in a very public setting, is likely to alienate some students in a very counterproductive way. I will likely have more comments later - it is late on my end now.
    That, I definitely agree with.
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  8. #18
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bamboo View Post
    This does seems like a good way to nip it in the bud...
    Yes, but it can't just be a formula and it's not simply about the concept of such things, it's about the implementation. This is the part I expressed loosely as wisdom, and admittedly I didn't expand on what I meant by that. I see tons of opportunity in trying to bake an emotionally intelligent component into school life. It's just that so many questions go along with that for me - what things are we going to teach, what ages are we going to teach these things at, how will we measure success. I hesitate to think that a program kit and one hour of teacher training is going to suddenly unlock the EQ world for these kids. If anything, it may fail to teach the kinds of observational skills necessary to know when to make emotional judgements. This kind of emotional awareness to me has to be woven through the entire day as real-world situations arise. However, I think it's useful at the very least that such programs provide even a cursory glance at the concept that feelings are important. I know that if there had been these types of materials when I was in grade school I would have been very drawn to them. If I was a teacher I'd be eager to look to them for foundational support.

    Perhaps simply learning how to gain insight into the emotions, whatever they are, without teaching what you should do with them, would be a better idea. Meditative focus. By just teaching how to observe emotions you can gain a large amount of benefit without the messiness of telling people what to do.
    Yes, I like that, nicely said.
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  9. #19
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    I'll come back and read through this in a bit more detail, but just wanted to quickly mention that the Dalai Lama has this as one of his missions in life. He explores it in depth in: "Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama".
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    Schools have been attempting this kind of social engineering for decades. Meditation was big in the 60s and 70s. I remember attending some presentations in high school around 1971 or 72 that taught breathing techniques and ways of handling emotions (visualize your negative emotions as a blue balloon, and watch the balloon float away into the air). I was intrigued enough by the presentations to remember them across all these years, but I’m pretty sure I never actually used the techniques in daily life while in high school. It was just something weird that was taught in the classroom, and not something that I would actually use IRL.

    As the author points out in the article, there is little or no research supporting the idea that these kinds of classes do any good. OTOH, there is some evidence showing that they may harm kids: The article cites the example of the self-esteem movement taught in schools in the 1980s resulting in kids with higher narcissism scores.

    But mostly I think these classes just don’t have much effect. Teachers teach them by rote, kids learn them by rote, and then the kids never really apply them in their daily life. Daily life doesn’t tend to cooperate with emotional techniques taught in the classroom. It’s like my own experience that I described in the first paragraph: Kids compartmentalize. Kids don’t make the connect between the neat little drills that are taught in school and the grit and fears and travails of daily life outside of school.

    On pages 6 and 7 of the article, the author talks about systems taught on a much broader schedule: The Two-Step program (page 6) and the Ruler program (page 7). I liked the idea on page 7 of the kids actually practicing their techniques with each other out at recess or in gym class or whatever. But even there, I can imagine that young kids would simply discard those rules and techniques once they go home after school. After all, those school-taught techniques only work when the other kids are similarly trained and everyone is playing by the same set of rules in a supervised setting. Once kids leave the school for the day, they’re going to be re-entering a world that doesn’t play by those rules.

    I suppose you can raise kids’ awareness about emotions. But the interplay of emotions is so complex that it isn't easily condensable into neat little lessons for kids. Adults have trouble learning these same techniques in leadership classes and then applying them in the corporate world, where their livelihood is at stake. Some say that kids are more malleable than adults, but with kids I think it’s more about gobbling up drills and rote learning, which probably doesn’t translate into any real gains once the kids leave the classroom setting (again, see the first paragraph).

    (Just riffing off my personal experience here; YMMV of course.)


    [Edit:] A quick edit, to clarify a point: I think it’s possible to take a child with poor emotional control (IOW, a child with a deficit in such skills) and give him one-on-one training and some basic techniques to help him out. Such a kid may in fact welcome additional coping tools for dealing more effectively with the world around him. The world around him demands a higher level of emotional skills than that particular kid currently has, so that kid has immediate use for such skills.

    But the question that the article raises is: Can you take "average" kids and hothouse them to a higher level of emotional consciousness. And I think in the latter case the larger world is going to work against that: The peers and families of such kids who aren’t trained in the same techniques won’t operate by the same rules, etc., meaning that the techniques won’t translate well wrt the real-world activities of "average" kids.

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