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
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
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)
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.
W.T. Grant Consortium: Active ingredients of prevention programs: (
Original source: Hawkins, J.D., et al (1992) Communities that care. San
1.Identify and label feelings
3.Assessing the intensity of
8.Knowing the difference
1. Self-talk - conducting inner
2. Reading and interpreting
3. Using steps for problem
solving and decision making
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
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.)
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
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
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
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
a book manuscript -- all rights
Teaching children to love
Decarte's error: Emotion, reason and the brain
Goleman, D., "On emotional intelligence,"
Educational leadership, v.54, n.1,
September 1996, 6-10.