Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Coleman, predictor for success, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic Mom

Illinois Schools Teach Social and Emotional Skills

Importance of Teaching Social Emotional Skills at School

It makes sense to me that schools should teach social and emotional skills since research shows that emotional intelligence is the most accurate predictor for future success NOT IQ.  (For more on that, read Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Coleman).   The question is:  why aren’t more schools teaching it?  Oh yeah, I remember now.   It’s not on the test.  But I think this article makes a great case for why it should be on the curriculum!

Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Coleman, predictor for success, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic Mom

Here’s some key points from the article.  For the full article by Bonnie Miller Rubin of the Chicago Tribune, please click here.

  • “You can’t just assume kids know how to show kindness or resolve conflict,” said Principal Mary Tavegia. “You’ve got to give them the tools as soon as they walk in the door.”
  • In 2004, Illinois became the first state in the nation to require all school districts to teach social and emotional skills as part of their curriculum and daily school life.
  • Weissberg and his colleagues recently completed an analysis of 300 scientific studies and reached two important conclusions: Students enrolled in such programs scored at least 10 percentage points higher on achievement tests than peers who weren’t. At the same time, discipline problems were cut in half.
  • So in science lab, class begins with a discussion not just on molecules, but what makes a good partnership. It ends with students reflecting on how the experiment worked — but also how well they met their social goals. In language arts, the teacher will often go beyond basic comprehension questions about a story, asking students to accept that different characters might view the same incident differently.
  • Bruised feelings, rude jabs and hallway shoves have always been a part of the preteen and adolescent landscape, but a growing body of dispiriting statistics confirms that bad behavior is on the rise and more psychologically harmful than what was endured by earlier generations.
  • In the 2009 School Crime and Safety report, assault and theft have declined, but bullying and verbal abuse increased. About 32 percent of middle and high school students say they’ve been bullied during the year compared to 5 percent in 2000.
  • Courtney Orzel, principal of Jack Hille Middle School in Oak Forest, acknowledged some skepticism when her school implemented social and emotional learning four years ago. Since then, “everything has improved … our test scores, the climate of our building, our parent communication,” she said. “There’s been a huge shift of where we were and where we are now.”


By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom

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