Education is getting on the ‘emotional intelligence’ bandwagon

16 Sep

Moi wrote about emotional intelligence in Study: Kindness helps students become more popular and improves school culture: Whenever there is a mass murder like happened at Virginia Tech or Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, the focus turns to the killer. Often,these killers are loners with few social skills. More and more researchers are beginning to study the concept of emotional intelligence. ttp://psychology.about.com/od/personalitydevelopment/a/emotionalintell.htm

Business Balls.Com has a concise summary of emotional intelligence:

Emotional Intelligence – EQ – is a relatively recent behavioural model, rising to prominence with Daniel Goleman’s 1995 Book called ‘Emotional Intelligence’. The early Emotional Intelligence theory was originally developed during the 1970s and 80s by the work and writings of psychologists Howard Gardner (Harvard), Peter Salovey (Yale) and John ‘Jack’ Mayer (New Hampshire). Emotional Intelligence is increasingly relevant to organizational development and developing people, because the EQ principles provide a new way to understand and assess people’s behaviours, management styles, attitudes, interpersonal skills, and potential. Emotional Intelligence is an important consideration in human resources planning, job profiling, recruitment interviewing and selection, management development, customer relations and customer service, and more.
Emotional Intelligence links strongly with concepts of love and spirituality: bringing compassion and humanity to work, and also to ‘Multiple Intelligence’ theory which illustrates and measures the range of capabilities people possess, and the fact that everybody has a value.
The EQ concept argues that IQ, or conventional intelligence, is too narrow; that there are wider areas of Emotional Intelligence that dictate and enable how successful we are. Success requires more than IQ (Intelligence Quotient), which has tended to be the traditional measure of intelligence, ignoring eseential behavioural and character elements. We’ve all met people who are academically brilliant and yet are socially and inter-personally inept. And we know that despite possessing a high IQ rating, success does not automatically follow. http://www.businessballs.com/eq.htm
Researchers are studying social interactions among students and how these interactions affect the climate of a school.
Mathew Tabor wrote in the Education News article, Research: For Students, Kindness to Others Boosts Popularity, which describes a study about kindness behavior among adolescents. http://www.educationnews.org/k-12-schools/research-for-students-kindness-to-others-boosts-popularity/

https://drwilda.com/2012/12/30/study-kindness-helps-students-become-more-popular-and-improves-school-culture/

Jennifer Kahn wrote the intriguing New York Times piece, Can Emotional Intelligence Be Taught?

Kahn writes about a number of schools exploring teaching emotional intelligence.

Wade’s approach — used schoolwide at Garfield Elementary, in Oakland, Calif. — is part of a strategy known as social-emotional learning, which is based on the idea that emotional skills are crucial to academic performance.
“Something we now know, from doing dozens of studies, is that emotions can either enhance or hinder your ability to learn,” Marc Brackett, a senior research scientist in psychology at Yale University, told a crowd of educators at a conference last June. “They affect our attention and our memory. If you’re very anxious about something, or agitated, how well can you focus on what’s being taught?”
Once a small corner of education theory, S.E.L. has gained traction in recent years, driven in part by concerns over school violence, bullying and teen suicide. But while prevention programs tend to focus on a single problem, the goal of social-emotional learning is grander: to instill a deep psychological intelligence that will help children regulate their emotions….
For children, Brackett notes, school is an emotional caldron: a constant stream of academic and social challenges that can generate feelings ranging from loneliness to euphoria. Educators and parents have long assumed that a child’s ability to cope with such stresses is either innate — a matter of temperament — or else acquired “along the way,” in the rough and tumble of ordinary interaction. But in practice, Brackett says, many children never develop those crucial skills. “It’s like saying that a child doesn’t need to study English because she talks with her parents at home,” Brackett told me last spring. “Emotional skills are the same. A teacher might say, ‘Calm down!’ — but how exactly do you calm down when you’re feeling anxious? Where do you learn the skills to manage those feelings?”
A growing number of educators and psychologists now believe that the answer to that question is in school. George Lucas’s Edutopia foundation has lobbied for the teaching of social and emotional skills for the past decade; the State of Illinois passed a bill in 2003 making “social and emotional learning” a part of school curriculums. Thousands of schools now use one of the several dozen programs, including Brackett’s own, that have been approved as “evidence-based” by the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning, a Chicago-based nonprofit. All told, there are now tens of thousands of emotional-literacy programs running in cities nationwide.
The theory that kids need to learn to manage their emotions in order to reach their potential grew out of the research of a pair of psychology professors — John Mayer, at the University of New Hampshire, and Peter Salovey, at Yale. In the 1980s, Mayer and Salovey became curious about the ways in which emotions communicate information, and why some people seem more able to take advantage of those messages than others. While outlining the set of skills that defined this “emotional intelligence,” Salovey realized that it might be even more influential than he had originally suspected, affecting everything from problem solving to job satisfaction: “It was like, this is predictive!” http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/15/magazine/can-emotional-intelligence-be-taught.html?ref=education&_r=0

A 2010 Education Week article by Sarah D. Sparks examined the skills necessary to succeed in school.

In Experts Begin to Identify Nonacademic Skills Key to Success, Sparks wrote:

More and more, research shows young people need the same cognitive and social-emotional skills to complete school and progress in the workplace, and, moreover, that those skills can be taught and tested like any other subject in school.
“The problem is college eligibility was what we focused on previously, not readiness; we haven’t really defined what ‘readiness’ means,” said Elena Silva, a senior policy analyst with Education Sector, a Washington think tank, at the Building a Better Student research seminar held here Dec. 8-10. “We focused on whether they have the course credits, the time spent … and that’s important, but we haven’t figured out if they have what they need to be really college-ready,” she said. Students are “getting through high school graduation and even then, they’re not ready.”
While 43 states, Washington and the U.S. Virgin Islands have adopted the common-core academic standards as a benchmark for helping students to be considered ready for college or work, research also points to five key noncognitive indicators that a student will need to be able to complete college and become successfully employed, according to Paul R. Sackett, a psychology professor at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. He was one of 21 researchers discussing the issue at the seminar, held by the Washington-based American Educational Research Association, the Princeton, N.J.-based Educational Testing Service, and the New York City-based College Board, which administers the SAT college-entrance exam.
Dispositions for Success
Across education and industry, research by Mr. Sackett; Neal Schmitt, a psychology professor at Michigan State University in East Lansing; and others shows the biggest predictor of success is a student’s conscientiousness, as measured by such traits as dependability, perseverance through tasks, and work ethic. Agreeableness, including teamwork, and emotional stability were the next-best predictors of college achievement, followed by variations on extroversion and openness to new experiences, Mr. Sackett found.
“If you take a close look at these commercial tests [given during job interviews], they are compound traits of the top three traits” predicting post-high school success, he said, and the top three traits are also closely associated with a student’s ability to perform well on a task and avoid bad work behavior, such as theft or absenteeism.
Each student’s personality is different, of course, Mr. Sackett said, but, “we have to differentiate between that and behavior.”
“You can learn to behave contrary to your disposition,” he added. “You can learn to behave in dependable ways. For some people, it’s second nature, for others, it’s a real struggle.” Either way, he said, schools can teach and measure noncognitive, college-readiness skills just as they do reading or mathematics—and they may be just as important.
Most schools do not teach or measure nonacademic readiness indicators directly, though they do pop up through conduct reports, attendance, team-project evaluations, and other areas. However, several groups are developing more-comprehensive assessments they hope will help school administrators predict a student’s academic and social-emotional readiness trajectory. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/12/23/15aera.h30.html?tkn=MSMF39tcQfiHMOukF6dwvGXGLdcwAX4+3++y&intc=es

K-12 education must not only prepare students by teaching basic skills, but they must prepare students for training after high school, either college or vocational. There should not only be a solid education foundation established in K-12, but there must be more accurate evaluation of whether individual students are “college ready.”

Resources:

Creating a Culture of Respect and Kindness
http://www.growingseeds.net/respect.php

Prevent Bullying, Promote Kindness: 20 Things All Schools Can Do
http://www2.cortland.edu/dotAsset/340b8b7f-e067-4231-9dd8-1eaed2a8962e.pdf

Related:

College readiness: What are ‘soft skills’
https://drwilda.com/2012/11/14/college-readiness-what-are-soft-skills/

Many NOT ready for higher education
https://drwilda.com/2012/10/06/many-not-ready-for-higher-education/

What the ACT college readiness assessment means
https://drwilda.com/2012/08/25/what-the-act-college-readiness-assessment-means/

Study: What skills are needed for ’21st-century learning?’
https://drwilda.com/2012/07/11/study-what-skills-are-needed-for-21st-century-learning/

ACT to assess college readiness for 3rd-10th Grades
https://drwilda.com/2012/07/04/act-to-assess-college-readiness-for-3rd-10th-grades/

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