Gail .
  • Gail .
  • Myrtle Beach, SC
  • United States


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Does our educational paradigm lower EI? (Emotional Intelligence)

I have been learning about EQ or EI and am surprised by what I am finding. As I read about the differences between low and high EI, I realized that current teaching methods (as I remember them) work against EI.

EI is all about self-awareness, empathy, and self-control (impulse control / control over one's emotions), thus consequential self-esteem. If a EI class were part of every year of schooling, could we have a better society?

Ken Robinson talks about how schools kill creativity, but growing EI grows curiosity. Are the two related? Steve Hein posts his beliefs about education at this site: You have to scroll down a little. He clearly articulates why I believe that my compulsory education was abusive and the problem that I personally had with most teachers.

I am interested in feedback on this idea.

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    Dec 25 2012: Has anyone seen this by Charlotte Iserbyt?
    This is very telling.
  • Dec 23 2012: At what point are schools becoming responsible for all aspects of child development and behavior? What is happening to the role of parents and family? Much of what you are describing as EI are lessons I believe parents hsoud be teaching their kids at home. Schools should focus on the academic and if there are emotional or behavioral lessons to be learned, it would seem that they should be identified, discussed, corrected if necessary and follow-on behavior modification actions taken as necessary on an individual basis.

    The self-esteem part I think comes from teachers being afraid to tell kids they are wrong, or use competition as a motivational tool for fear of what it will do to those that do not win.

    I am not a teacher, but in my brief encounters with parents through extra-cirricular activities, I believe that many parents have taken the "being an advocate for your child" concept to deluded extremes, reducing child accountability for actions and instead blaming a teacher, rule, school system or other issue than the real problem-the actions of the student.

    The EI of every student is going to be very different, and what is right for one child may not be right for another and there may be event external to the classroom that are more influential than what teachers provide at school.

    There may be cases where EI development is not occurring at home, and the school system steps in to provide some basics, but this should not come at the expense of parents taking on this responsibility and providing whatthey think the child needs to be a successful adult. It is just part of good parenting.

    I wonder if there are other reasons EI is increasing, perhapa Internet, cable TV, or other influences that were not present when we went through school.
  • Dec 23 2012: I do believe that American public schools kill creativity. I have no reason to ever believe that they do or will ever promote EI. I believe EI is a personality trait that can be faked.
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    Dec 22 2012: TED lover, this is a great topic, but it demands some thought before response. It looks like TED only gave your question a small amount of time to be open, like a day, or am I wrong on that? Therefore, I may not be able to formulate my response. It seems like your idea deserved more time. Do you know how TED decides how long they'll let a question be open?
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      Gail .

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      Dec 22 2012: Thanks for the heads up. I set it for 2 weeks and don't know why it changed. I edited the question to change the time to 30 days. Look forward to hearing from you.
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    Dec 22 2012: My classroom education, like yours, was far in the past, but I remember enough to know how much things have changed. For example, when I was in grade school, if we didn't sing well in assembly, our teacher would give us a surprise math test. In middle school, boys who violated rules were "paddled" by the "boys' vice principal."
    Much of what happened then in schools would open a school today up to law suits and violate district policy.

    Turning the clock to now, teachers in their training and curriculum materials are expected to build frequent reflections into classroom activity. Even in a math class in grades 1-8, students are frequently expected at the end of units to write reflections related to their own judgments of their understanding of ideas and what they need to work on.

    A related self-reflective classroom norm is a sort of "public record" common at the beginning of units that lists what students believe they know and what they are curious about related to the subject matter. This is particularly common, I believe, in science and social studies classes in grades 1-8.

    Self-control may have moved in the reverse direction between the time of my lower education and today's classrooms. When I was young, there was little tolerance in class of venting of any kind. In today's classroom students are nudged to tap into their individual veins of emotion in their writing. Separately, in the US schools are, I believe, required to have an anti-bullying curriculum in k-8, which often involves learning to communicate what in the past might have been considered personal issues with emotional content.