Why are educators hesitant to bring emotional intelligence into their classrooms? I have asked myself this question for the last 20 years. Daniel Goleman published his world-renowned book, “Emotional Intelligence: Why Is It More Important Than IQ”, in 1995. He has written much about emotional intelligence since then along with other professionals. There has been much research of the brain and studies have proven that a child’s emotional brain grows the fastest from birth to six; EQ raises IQ and EQ is 80% the reason we are successful in life. This is strong evidence for the teaching of emotional intelligence in the schools and homes.
We have many variations of teaching social and emotional learning and yet our challenges are greater than ever in the schools. Parents today face challenges with their children that 20 years ago weren’t present. Are they preparing their children to handle the complexity of cyberspace and an ever changing cultural environment? A study done this past year with elementary school principals by Project Achieve found that their biggest concern was addressing students’ behavior and emotional problems. If our current methods of teaching social and emotional behavior were effective, this would not be the number one biggest concern in elementary schools today.
So why are educators hesitant to teach emotional intelligence skills to children especially between the ages of birth and six. It stems from their lack of understanding of the emotional brain, the development of these brains in young children and their own lack of emotional intelligence. There has been so little change in how we educate our children and yet the world has changed dramatically. Academics, testing and IQ are important but in today’s world, emotional well-being and how to manage your own emotional well-being is the real key to success in an ever-changing environment and the constant dependence on technology that affects how children interact with their peers. One mean twitter is all it takes. This can affect a child’s life forever as being bullied affected mine only worse.
If you are reading this blog, ask yourself if you are a parent or a teacher, are you really giving your children the skills they need to survive the culture we live in today?