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Leslie Owen Wilson, 1997, updated 3/05

Newer Views of Learning- 

Applications of EQ  


**Note: This page will be coming down soon and has been updated and moved to


EQ Educational Applications:

Although Goleman sprinkles suggestions for educational implementation throughout his book, in the latter portion of the work he specifically defends the need for schools to address emotional intelligence. Here he says:

. . . Emotional literacy implies an expanded mandate for schools, taking up the slack for failing families in socializing children. This daunting task requires two major changes: that teachers go beyond their traditional mission and that people in the community become more involved with schools.

Whether there is a class explicitly devoted to emotional literacy may matter far less than how these lessons are taught. There is perhaps no subject where the quality of the teacher matters so much, since how a teacher handles her class is in itself a model, a de facto lesson in emotional competence--or the lack thereof. Whenever a teacher responds to one student, twenty or thirty others learn a lesson.

There is a self selection in the kind of teacher such as these, because not everyone is suited by temperament. To begin with, teachers need to be comfortable talking about feelings, not every teacher is at ease doing so or wants to be. . . . 279 (Goleman)

An example: The appendices of Goleman's book (starting on page 301) are rich with possibilities which could easily be incorporated into school programs. His collections of ideas include many thoughtful suggestions, all of which could either serve as a basis for powerful, affective curricula, or for some level of infusion into traditional content areas. Here is a sample of the type of things Goleman offers readers.

From the W.T. Grant Consortium: Active ingredients of prevention programs: ( Original source: Hawkins, J.D., et al (1992) Communities that care. San Francisco: Josey-Bass.)

Picture (15x15, 274 bytes) Emotional skills:

1.Identify and label feelings

2.Expressing feelings

3.Assessing the intensity of feelings

4.Managing feelings

5.Delaying gratification

6.Controlling impulses

7.Reducing stress

8.Knowing the difference

Picture (15x15, 274 bytes) Cognitive Skills:

1. Self-talk - conducting inner dialogue

2. Reading and interpreting social cues

3. Using steps for problem solving and decision making

Picture (15x15, 274 bytes) Behavioral Skills:

1. Nonverbal - communicating through the body, being aware of the messages one is giving and receiving.

2. Verbal - making clear statements, responding appropriately, listening, empathetic responses, helping others, etc.

Teaching students to use their gifts.

In the context of all three intelligences--intrapersonal, interpersonal, and emotional -- here are some of my personal suggestions for implementation. (Hint: If you really want to know who is smart and in what areas, ask a little kid to tell you. Kids, ages three to seven, are very good at seeing through the adult masks and mazes of cultural and social mystic, and of affectation. After age seven children have a tendency to want to become adept as social animals and to want to glean acceptance from adults. Unfortunately, most are socialized into losing their acute perceptive abilities of talent detection and people intuition.)

Picture (15x15, 274 bytes) Wilson's Suggestions

1. Simply learn to recognize and affirm those children who are smart in different ways.

2. Discuss and educate peers, parents, and community members about new and different perceptions of intelligence.

3. Find opportunities to showcase children's multiple talents and abilities, and expand narrower definitions and criteria for "gifted and talented" programs so that they include other intelligences beyond the narrow limitations of verbal/linguistic and mathematical/logical intelligences.

4. Teach students about the multiple intelligences and other forms of intelligence, but be careful to also teach ways and techniques that aid students in using their strengths to create instructional bridges into areas of metacognitive weakness. Teach students how to explore and nurture their weaker talents through their strengths.

5. Teach students the arts of self-talk, internal dialoguing, self-affirmation, reflective analysis, and the art of apology.

6. Create opportunities whereby students affirm and actively listen to one another.

7. Identify faculty and staff who have intrapersonal, interpersonal, or emotional intelligences, and allow them to become role models for both faculty and students.

8. Use role-play as a teaching technique, but be sure you know what you are doing. This is one of the most powerful teaching tools, and if not done correctly, role playing can create more problems than it can solve. Study the technique first! Always debrief after role-plays.

9. Recognize and honor Carl Jung's temperament attributes of introversion and extraversion. Many people mistakenly think that attributes have to do with qualities of shyness and gregariousness. This is not true! These personality attributes have to do with where and how people draw energy, and what aspects of self they are willing to reveal to others, and how one responds to external stimulus. Educate yourself about what these attributes really mean, adjust teaching techniques so that the needs of both types of children are met and adjust, and revise teaching techniques so that they are representative of both types of temperaments.

10. Emphasize the human connections, the dramas, the stories of struggle and triumph that permeate each academic discipline.

11. Give students the gift of time -- grant time for active reflection, introspection and conversation--times where students are allowed to become reflective, and then have opportunities to share their introspective reflections with others.

12. Introduce unfinished stories, scenarios, and problems that deal with moral and ethical actions, and the art of thinking of the human condition in metaphoric terms. These are all very powerful ways for students to begin to think about the ancient, affective side of humanity and the evolutionary state of human emotions and interactions.

13. Organize public service experiences. Extend the walls of the school to include the community.

14. Introduce students to members of older generations and let them listen to their stories.

15. All students need to experience the joy of committing random acts of kindness and beauty--give them opportunities to do so.

16. Learn and teach the power of laughter and beauty and their connections to emotional and physical well-being and healing.

17. Teach the arts of social discourse, how to read body language, conflict resolution techniques, and stress reduction.

18. Inclusive educational, employment, and social practices offer students opportunities to develop understanding of others, as well as caring and empathetic attitudes. Support, discuss and promote such initiatives.

18. And remember to experience, practice and model all of the above yourself -- "the medium is the message."

(L. O. Wilson, (1997) Journeys: Inside out, outside in, a book manuscript -- all rights reserved.)

Picture (15x15, 274 bytes) Resources:

Childre, D.L., Teaching children to love

Damasio, A.R., Decarte's error: Emotion, reason and the brain

Goleman, D., Emotional intelligence

Goleman, D., "On emotional intelligence," Educational leadership, v.54, n.1, September 1996, 6-10.