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  1. #1
    Member Solar Plexus's Avatar
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    Default Teaching Emotional Intelligence In Academia

    Are schools setting students up for failure by neglecting to instill emotional intelligence in favor of focusing exclusively on intellectual subjects, much of which will never be utilized in the professional world?

    With the prevalence of school shootings, bullying, teen suicides, drug-abuse and high school dropouts, it seems that a lack of emotional intelligence is at the core of these issues, at a time when kids need it the most, struggling with hormone changes and all of the social pressures that school entails.

    Interestingly, women, on average, tend to have higher empathy than men; and men, on average, have more emotional regulation of distressing feelings.

    From the book, "Emotional Intelligence - Why it can matter more than IQ," by Daniel Goleman

    The five main categories of emotional intelligence

    1. Knowing one's emotions. Self-awareness - recognizing a feeling as it happens - is the keystone of emotional intelligence. As we will see in Chapter 4, the ability to monitor feelings from moment to moment is crucial to psychological insight and self-understanding. An inability to notice our true feelings leaves us at their mercy. People with greater certainty about their feelings are better pilots of their lives, having a surer sense of how they really feel about personal decisions from whom to marry to what job to take.

    2. Managing emotions. Handling feelings so they are appropriate is an ability that builds on self-awareness. Chapter 5 will examine the capacity to soothe oneself, to shake off rampant anxiety, gloom, or irritability - and the consequences of failure at this basic emotional skill. People who are poor in this ability are constantly battling feelings of distress, while those who excel in it can bounce back far more quickly from life's setbacks and upsets.

    3. Motivating oneself. As Chapter 6 will show, marshaling emotions in the service of a goal is essential for paying attention, for self-motivation and mastery, and for creativity. Emotional self-control - delaying gratification and stifling impulsiveness - underlies accomplishment of every sort. And being able to get in the "flow" state enables outstanding performances of all kinds. People who have this skill tend to be more highly productive and effective in whatever they undertake.

    4. Recognizing emotions in others. Empathy, another ability that builds on emotional self-awareness, is the fundamental "people skill." Chapter 7 will investigate the roots of empathy, the social cost of being emotionally tone-deaf, and the reasons empathy kindles altruism. People who are empathic are more attuned to the subtle social signals that indicate what others need or want. This makes them better at callings such as the caring professions, teaching, sales, and management.

    5. Handling relationships. The art of relationships is, in large part, skill in managing emotions in others. Chapter 8 looks at social competence and incompetence, and the specific skills involved. These are the abilities that undergird popularity, leadership, and interpersonal effectiveness. People who excel in these skills do well at anything that relies on interacting smoothly with others; they are social stars.

    Of course, people differ in their abilities in each of these domains; some of us may be quite adept at handling, say, our own anxiety, but relatively inept at soothing someone else's upsets. The underlying basis for our level of ability is, no doubt, neural, but as we will see, the brain is remarkably plastic, constantly learning. Lapses in emotional skills can be remedied: to a great extent each of these domains represents a body of habit and response that, with the right effort, can be improved on.
    This is an interesting discussion from the author about Emotional Intelligence. He gets into the subject of teaching these skills in school around the 22 min point. At 6:00, he mentions that workplace studies have found emotional intelligence is twice as important as IQ and technical skill combined.


  2. #2
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solar Plexus View Post
    Are schools setting students up for failure by neglecting to instill emotional intelligence in favor of focusing exclusively on intellectual subjects, much of which will never be utilized in the professional world?
    Your premise is flawed. The time and attention schools spend on intellectual subjects, as well as problem solving and critical thinking, is woefully inadequate. The focus is on complying with rules, following procedures, fitting the mold, groupwork and team exercises - if anything, too much going along to avoid giving any offense. No wonder people who need more mental challenge than that pick up weapons and turn violent.
    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...

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    Member Solar Plexus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Your premise is flawed. The time and attention schools spend on intellectual subjects, as well as problem solving and critical thinking, is woefully inadequate. The focus is on complying with rules, following procedures, fitting the mold, groupwork and team exercises - if anything, too much going along to avoid giving any offense. No wonder people who need more mental challenge than that pick up weapons and turn violent.
    I'm not following your rationale. Are you saying that you think these kids who shoot up schools are doing so because they're not being intellectually stimulated enough? If so, then I would say your premise is the one that's flawed.

    As far as emotional intelligence is concerned, do you see these traits as valuable in the work force? If so, how valuable are they in comparison to the traditional curriculum being taught in schools? Many students with an above average IQ will fail to graduate from a university or will obtain a college degree and land nothing more than an entry-level job due to a lack of emotional intelligence.

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    i love skylights's Avatar
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    My line of thinking is somewhat close to Coriolis'. I actually think that intellectual encouragement and the social academic environment fosters emotional intelligence, and it is largely administrative bullshit that gets in the way: teaching to the tests, time pressure, PCness, taking away extracurriculars for lack of funding, not fostering individual differences, not being supportive enough of students with disabilities and learning differences, and so on. I do think that students would benefit from more emphasis on holistic wellbeing, including instruction in healthy and positive interpersonal relating, body image, nutrition, conflict management, stress management, financial skills, personal awareness including strengths, weaknesses, and identity, and social justice. But fundamentally I believe violence, bullying, suicide, and drug abuse are more a result of the larger culture being oppressive towards intrapersonal struggle, mental health issues, and body image issues - any setting where an individual is different and struggling to succeed. The more our culture does to promote global acceptance, personal empowerment, and cooperative support, the less individuals will feel alone, pressured, and driven to nihilistic solutions.

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    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    I like the idea. I'm just not sure you can 'teach' emotional intelligence. I think that comes from having healthy interactions in your childhood, so I think we should start by teaching good parenting skills.
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    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solar Plexus View Post
    I'm not following your rationale. Are you saying that you think these kids who shoot up schools are doing so because they're not being intellectually stimulated enough? If so, then I would say your premise is the one that's flawed.

    As far as emotional intelligence is concerned, do you see these traits as valuable in the work force? If so, how valuable are they in comparison to the traditional curriculum being taught in schools? Many students with an above average IQ will fail to graduate from a university or will obtain a college degree and land nothing more than an entry-level job due to a lack of emotional intelligence.
    i am saying that they are frustrated, partly because there is little in school for them, but they are required to be there and go through the motions, and that bothers them more than others. My main point, however, is that the most valuable skills are not taught well at all in schools. These are critical thinking, problem solving, and developing understanding of the world around us rather than simply memorizing and regurgitating facts, or executing cookbook scripts. If you really could teach emotional intelligence, this would probably be better than most of the latter, but it can never supplant the former.
    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. #7
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21% View Post
    I like the idea. I'm just not sure you can 'teach' emotional intelligence. I think that comes from having healthy interactions in your childhood, so I think we should start by teaching good parenting skills.
    Yes, good emotional skills are learnt from an early age.

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    Senior Member AzulEyes's Avatar
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    I think it should be a topic- yes. It might not "teach" someone to BE emotionally intellegent as another poster stated- but it brings credence to the topic of emotional intelligience. It encourages people to evaluate their own emotional health and maturity. It gives a stamp of approval on it as a topic of importance. A very key component to how we interact with people in all situations every single day.

    Just coming out of a friendship with a person extremely stunted emotionally- can I just say- it's devastating. (For my friend mostly- to live a life trying to navigate personal and professional relationships without the emotional maturity and health necessary to just get by.) And it's devastating for those unlucky enough to be in the path of very negative beahaviors that can result.

    Good parenting skills is a great point someone brought up too. Why does no one tell parents that, 'Hey! Everything you say to this kid or in front of this kid will determine who this kid is when he grows up- and what he will think of himself!" I watched a mother say some really stupid things in front of her young daughter the other day and I was cringing inside.

    I agree that the definition of intellect and what topics should be taught in school is certainly subjective in terms of the real needs of society.
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    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    So basically people will be mind numbingly stupid yet be very empathetic towards others? well I guess people are stupid already thanks to the school system, but hey at least they won't be insulting as well! seems legit
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  10. #10
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    My line of thinking is somewhat close to Coriolis'. I actually think that intellectual encouragement and the social academic environment fosters emotional intelligence, and it is largely administrative bullshit that gets in the way: teaching to the tests, time pressure, PCness, taking away extracurriculars for lack of funding, not fostering individual differences, not being supportive enough of students with disabilities and learning differences, and so on. I do think that students would benefit from more emphasis on holistic wellbeing, including instruction in healthy and positive interpersonal relating, body image, nutrition, conflict management, stress management, financial skills, personal awareness including strengths, weaknesses, and identity, and social justice. But fundamentally I believe violence, bullying, suicide, and drug abuse are more a result of the larger culture being oppressive towards intrapersonal struggle, mental health issues, and body image issues - any setting where an individual is different and struggling to succeed. The more our culture does to promote global acceptance, personal empowerment, and cooperative support, the less individuals will feel alone, pressured, and driven to nihilistic solutions.
    This largely reflects my own position on it. With the problems that are presently already in place, I can’t help but feel dubious about putting ‘emotional intelligence’ into the curriculum. Especially where teaching to the tests is concerned- it could actually have the opposite effect and give kids the means to more effectively manipulate others. There’s no way to effectively gauge empathy in some fast, one-size-fits-all method; until we've learned to place a bit less emphasis on monitoring teachers’ productivity (‘measuring’ every single tiny thing they ‘teach’) in this way and to give them a little more wiggle room, it’s a mistake (imo) to add ‘emotional intelligence’ to that pile.

    I haven’t watched the video- Goleman may even make a compelling argument for how to bypass the problem of teaching to the test….but schools are so obsessed with keeping teachers accountable at present that I have trouble imagining an approach making it to fruition without becoming horribly corrupt somewhere along the line. We need to look at how to make the whole school system more emotionally intelligent for everyone involved before trying to teach ‘emotional intelligence’ directly to children (e.g. the one-size-fits-all approach to teaching children is, in itself, incredibly not emotionally intelligent).
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