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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: In a word 'yes.' But first teacher's need to be taught.
    I don't think it's an 'either or' problem. EQ won't take the place of anything -- yet it will enhance everything. I know from personal experience of being a 'foster child' and tossed from place to place--when I graduated high school, I'd been to 18 different schools. I was in 'survivor mode' and didn't have much energy left for anything else. Someone/anyone helped me with EQ would have been a wonder, a bright light in my life. Maybe with EQ I wouldn't have believed I was stupid--and it wouldn't have taken 20 years after college to believe I was actually intelligent.
    So yes.
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      Sep 17 2013: You raise a good point that some children have more reliable resources available to them at home than others. You were "tossed from place to place." Some kids have a parent in jail or otherwise inaccessible to model wise choices. Does the society want to do something in this area to help these children in ways that their parents or guardians cannot? Or do we want children to be the victims if their parents cannot step up?
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      Sep 17 2013: I doubt anyone exposed to a cross-section of young people will argue there is no need for guidance and education in managing emotions. The question here is should that nurturing come from already strapped classroom teachers who are themselves untrained, and often unsuited, to take the lead in that arena. In the USA the model seems to be if the teacher suspects a student is unable to learn, for whatever reason, action will be taken on a private (not in class) basis with Adminstrative approval and oversight. The issue may lead to the involvement of protective services outside the school. The question here is should teachers be required to become trained in SEL and should curricula be amended to include regular, requisite classroom hours dealing with specific problems which most of the students probably do not have? You suffered most unforunately with systemic failure, the question is which system failed to recognize and meet your need? Was it the school system? Bravo for your successful overcoming of a rough childhood. Welcome to TED!
    • Sep 21 2013: Yes, I can see how the behavior of the teachers would affect how kids learn EQ. I had the benefit of choosing the highest rated professors for my college EQ classes. They were very kind and respectful to their students, and very enthusiastic. But if I were to have had a boring, apathetic teacher, or and angry, disrespectful teacher, that probably would have an effect on how I took in these EQ skills. Because they're skills that we use all the time. And how they see the person teaching them about it uses them, that would affect how the students use the skills. So the teachers would probably need some learning too.

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