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edward long

Association of Old Crows


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In school can, and should, "Emotional Intelligence" be taught?

Read the brief New York Times article before you share your ideas about this. Well beyond the scope of the three R's, does this usurp parental responsibility?


Closing Statement from edward long

19 Tedsters offered 91 comments on the question. 33 Thumbs-up. Read them all to see the clear trend. Educators do not see EI as an appropriate curriculum item. The day-to-day handling of individual issues of emotional turmoil is part of the teacher's lot in life and most of them agree they call for privacy, and the public airing of the details of a students home life is not proper. Folks who grew into adulthood without "normal" family support and guidance see the real need for teaching children, in class along with reading and writing, how to manage their emotions. Some say it takes a village to raise a child, others say it takes a family. The NYT link is biased in favor of teaching EI in school. Empathy figured in as did usurpation. A spirited, polarized discussion. Thanks to the contributors.

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    Sep 17 2013: I don't like the framing of "emotional intelligence," but I do think schools have a responsibility to teach more than just the facts. Just finished Paul Tough's "How Children Succeed," and took two main points away from it:

    1) many underprivileged students (and non) have home lifes that leave them a perpetually overstressed state, and nobody can learn or otherwise work on self-development when in this kind of frame of mind
    2) even more so than content learning (which can be remedied even to a late point), underprivleged students are disadvantaged culturally - they often do not have the support systems that naturally inculcate the resiliency skills other students take for granted and are lacking the sense of entitlement to demand resources for their development

    If schools have a responsibility for fostering these kinds of skills in students (and I think they do), then we need to accept that they have the power to develop a certain personality type or at least personalities that fit within a certain spectrum.

    This certainly goes beyond a just the facts approach, but also edges away from the softer implications of teaching emotional intelligence to something more focused - resilient students who have the skills to achieve themselves.
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      Sep 17 2013: Without doubt there are children who need training in managing their emotions. The question here is if school is the best place to give that training. I know the "modern family" is not like the 50's TV families, but should the school be expected to pick-up the slack where parents have failed to meet their rightful responsibility?

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