TED Conversations

edward long

Association of Old Crows


This conversation is closed.

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.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Sep 21 2013: I have come up with a theory that teaching interpersonal skills to kids early in life will reduce bullying in schools. We can't be around the kids all the time to control them. But they are under the most control is in classes. And interpersonal skills are the “empathize with others, and maintain satisfying relationships” part of EQ. Although, I learned these EQ concepts in college. So I do not know how early they will be able to learn and understand the concepts of EQ in their young minds. And bullying happens at very young ages. I think they would be able to understand the concepts of EI in their early teens years, which would also be a good time to have EQ fresh in their minds, because intrapersonal skills is the other part of EQ, which involves understanding one’s own emotions. And in our teen years is when we are trying to find our identity, who we are, and where (or if) we fit in, and what we want to do with our future lives; which is a lot of complicated and confusing stuff to think about. So this could also reduce teen suicides. Because they would better be able to think about their own emotions, and therefore, their confusing and suicidal thoughts. And suicidal people often don't say anything about their suicidal thoughts, so intrapersonal skills (able to manage one’s own emotions) would help them to think more clearly about what they won’t share with others. And for the kids who can't yet grasp these EQ concepts, we could have EQ taught in parenting classes for parent who choose to take them. So they can help their kids to manage their own emotions, and empathize with others. So, in short, teaching kids intrapersonal skills will reduce suicides, and interpersonal skills will reduce bullying and abuse in schools. And I also think we would have less road rage if we had EQ taught before learning to drive.
    • thumb
      Sep 21 2013: Thank you for a lucid dissertation on the value of EQ/EI/SEL (and any other acroynyms for emotion management training). I doubt anyone will disagree with your theory. We are, more specifically, discussing the appropriateness of "teaching" such skills in school. Are you arguing that school should be where kids learn to live responsibly by managing their emotions? Traditionally the family is where such life skill is taught, with augmentation by classroom teachers on an as needed, private basis. Do you advocate transferring responsibility from the family to the government?

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.