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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 will represent your view in the Closing Report of this post. By the way, use the "REPLY" feature (in red letters to the left of the thumb icon) when responding to a particular person.
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        Sep 17 2013: Thank you Edward and sorry about not using the reply option. It completely slipped my mind. I re-entered the post in the reply section.

        Also, I just posted an idea on TED conversations. Let's see how many takers the idea of having a human science subject in schools has.
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          Sep 17 2013: I look forward to the responses from the TED community. You suggest the title "Human Science"?
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        Sep 18 2013: We have sciences and humanities, we also have social sciences, but we are missing out on the most vital part of our education-being human. Maybe a century ago we did not have to teach our kids how to be human, but in this capitalist, money driven world, it is increasingly becoming evident that we are forgetting what it's like to just be human.

        We need to teach our children to love again, to enjoy the company of other human beings, to form meaningful relationships. There is a subject called human science that is taught at university level in very few colleges globally, but it's not exactly what I have a mind. A human science subject in school will essentially teach our children what it means to be human, to fall in love, to feel pain, to feel happy, sad, angry, to respect each other, to build a better world!
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          Sep 18 2013: Children need to learn what you have mentioned. The question here is who is primarily responsible to teach them? Who should properly be the "we" you speak of? The State, or the family?
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        Sep 18 2013: While it is primarily the responsibility of the family to teach the things I mentioned, the current trend is seeing parents depending more on schools to bring up their children. With both parents working, the child actually spends more time with teachers than with parents. In such a scenario, teachers are in a better position to help children understand these things than parents.

        I believe it's not about whose responsibility it is, but we should rather be looking at it is this way: looking at how the present society is structured, through whom or rather what channel is best suited to teach our children the important things in life.
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          Sep 18 2013: Good points sir. What do you think of the argument that Pragmatism (adapt to the current problem rather than solving it) ignores the cause (family disintegration) which may have far more overall impact on society than the symptom (lacking EI skills)?
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        Sep 20 2013: That is what we have been doing all along (adaption to the problems instead of solving them). But I think we have come to a point where if we continue in the same trend we will see the end of our world very soon. We always have a choice, it's time we choose solutions rather than acceptance and adaptation.

        If you ask me it's the intrinsic greed of humankind and the flawed distribution of wealth in the capitalist economy that has forced people concentrate more on earning and careers than on family life. Over here in India, parents send their kids to play school as early as when they are just one year old.

        If parents spend more time with their children, if there was family time than just weekends and holidays, it'll really help children develop emotionally and psychologically. Like you've mentioned the lack of EI is just a symptom. We've got to go to the root cause and not just try to treat the symptoms. If we treat the symptoms and leave the disease untouched, it'll come back later in a more serious condition and then it'll be too late to find a cure.
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          Sep 20 2013: Thank you Rohit for your ideas. What word did you leave out in the first paragraph: ". . . we will see the [?????] of our world very soon." ?
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        Sep 20 2013: I left of the word "end". Added it now. Edward I might seem a little obsessed with changing our education system, and yes I might well be. But it's because of my experiences that I feel this way. Life's been a cruel yet good teacher to me and I've learnt my lessons well.

        I just don't want my lessons to go waste. I don't want our children to go through the same experiences. I don't aim to change the world. I just want to initiate a change in the education system and I know that if our education system is in order, the world will get better as time passes by. :)
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          Sep 20 2013: The very existence of an education system indicates a society is trying. I agree with your assertion that a well-ordered school system will contribute to the orderliness of the society. Your concern is commendable and well-placed.

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