- What is emotional intelligence in a student’s context?
- Essential elements of Emotional Intelligence.
- Benefits of Emotional Intelligence.
- Role of teachers in student’s life
Emotional Intelligence (EI) is considered an important trait for students to attain success in the classroom and outside. Emotional intelligence among students helps them become more confident learners as they can develop proficient communication skills.
Thus, creating an environment that is conducive to handle themselves and their emotions efficiently and also is able to better perform in the classroom. Not only that they are also able to connect more with their classmates and better understand them.
An emotionally intelligent child is capable of identifying his/her emotions, assessing them and thus in a better position to control them and finally convey them. All these make the child capable of making better decisions, solving challenges and being articulate.
History of Emotional Intelligence and Present Scenario
It was in the 80’s that many psychologists, neuroscientists and biologists highlighted the role of Emotional Intelligence in success. According to them, only Intelligence Quotient alone didn’t guarantee success in the classroom, but emotional intelligence in students was equally important.
Renowned psychologists Peter Salovey and John Mayer coined the term emotional intelligence and their concept was taken a step further by Daniel Goleman.
According to Goleman emotional intelligence improves the academic performance of a student and also improves his/her behaviour.
Goleman’s can be credited for the decision taken by educators to acknowledge the importance of emotional intelligence, so much so that many schools across the world have made it mandatory to include courses that develop emotional intelligence as part of their curriculum.
Essential Elements of Emotional Intelligence
By now we have understood the concept of Emotional Intelligence. The following are the essential elements of emotional intelligence.
Being Aware of Emotions
Having awareness of one’s own emotions goes a long way in understanding how one’s moods can impact others. Also, you will be able to know others’ feelings too.
World Health Organisation has recognised Self-Awareness as one among the ten important life skills crucial in promoting well-being.
The Qualities One Must Develop to Be Self Aware Are as Follows:
1. Identification of Emotions
When a student is able to distinguish between the different emotions he/she experiences then the response towards such emotions becomes easier. This also helps them use appropriate emotions for a given situation. Also they are better equipped in inter-relating the actions, reactions and thoughts.
2. Developing Honesty
As a student it is very important to be honest as this goes a long way in moulding them as a better person in the future. Whether it is a compliment, a suggestion or even a criticism, a student will be able to respond to these more objectively.
3. Understanding Strengths and Weakness
Being aware of one’s strengths and weakness helps in boosting confidence. While recognising weaknesses helps a student to work on it and improve, recognition of strengths helps in improving it further. All this contributes in fostering confidence.
4. Working Towards Self-Growth
A student who develops all the above mentioned qualities starts working on them in order to achieve inner growth. All of which motivates the student on the path of accomplishments.
Regulating or Managing Emotions
Daniel Goleman advocated better management of one’s own emotions in order to attain success. According to him management of emotions could be achieved by the following.
1. Controlling Emotions
One has to be composed at all given point of time. Not being able to control emotions during stressful situations can have adverse effects and often clouds the judgement. Hence it is very important to have self control in order to take right decisions.
2. Being Adaptable
The ability to be able to fulfill demands of different situations without losing focus or energy is crucial for students in order to achieve success.
3. Zeal to Excel
A student who is able to achieve by setting goals for oneself and then working towards realisation of the same is very important for a student as all this have a positive impact not only during the student life but also in the future.
4. Develop Optimism
Inculcating a sense of optimism is very important as this will help students in overcoming the challenges in a efficient manner. Seeing adversities as a learning experience often contributes in making the student a strong person.
Cite below are many external factors that contribute to the development of emotional intelligence.
1. Being Empathetic
Another important quality an emotionally intelligent person develops is being empathetic. Empathy allows a person to sense others emotions, understand others feelings and hence this paves the way to have good relationships. For a student, this can go a long way as having good relations with classmates can improve their performance in the class too.
2. Ability to Identify Key Influencers
While this quality is more relevant to the adults, one can inculcate the same as a student, as it is rest assured that the foundation is strong..
Managing good rapport with classmates and teachers has a positive influence on academic performance. The key factors are:
An ability to influence/inspire others helps in getting the work done. When others look upon a student that boosts confidence and also a desire to improve more.
2. Contribute in the Improvement of Others
When a student takes keen interest in developing his classmates it means that he/she has intelligence which is required in a leader.
3. Managing Conflicts or Differences
4. Working as A Team
Teamwork is an important part of emotional intelligence. Working as a team has its own benefits as it ensures that the problems can be resolved quickly if any work gets done faster.
5. Inspiring Leader
When a student is able to inspire his classmates, chances of getting tasks done is easier. Also the student is able to motivate others to improve.
6. Better Decision Makers
An emotionally intelligent student will be better equipped to make good decisions that will be beneficial to all.
7. Improved Communication Skills
A self aware, confident student will be able to communicate effectively not only with his/her peers but also the teachers. And this included all aspects of communication and about anything.
Emotional Intelligence – The Third Factor
Researcher Carolyn MacCann identifies Emotional Intelligence is the third factor that helps students to attain success. She says that to be successful a student has to be emotionally intelligent, being smart and hardworking is not enough.
In fact, MacCann and her colleagues had analyzed data from more than 160 studies published between 1998 and 2019, of more than 42,000 students from 27 countries. The age group of these students ranged from elementary school to colleges and mostly were from English-speaking countries.
Mac Cann and her team found that when compared to students with lower emotional intelligence scores, the students with higher emotional intelligence
MacCann and her colleagues analyzed data from more than 160 studies, representing more than 42,000 students from 27 countries, published between 1998 and 2019.
More than 76% were from English-speaking countries. The students ranged in age from elementary school to college. The researchers found that students with higher emotional intelligence tended to get higher grades and better achievement test scores than those with lower emotional intelligence scores.
Students Transformation Into Effective Communicator
Developing effective communication skills has a positive impact on the learning level of the student, as this enables the student to express his/her inability to understand a particular subject or a theory to teachers in a better way.
As a result the teachers reach out to such students and help them in understanding the subject or theory better. This in turn transforms the student into a confident learner.
This confidence also encourages the student to help other classmates. An emotionally intelligent student is also able to be well connected to school as against a student who lacks emotional intelligence.
This disconnection also results in such students not being able to perform well academically too.
Keeping Stress at Bay
When a student is able to assess positive emotions and manage it in an efficient way, then managing negative emotions also becomes easier.
Some of the negative emotions such as stress, discontent, and lack of interest can be overcome easily when a student possesses a high level of emotional intelligence.
When compared, emotional intelligence is as important as cognitive intelligence. A student high in emotional intelligence level is also able to develop good relationships with classmates, teachers and people outside as well as family members; all these have bearing to the academic success of the student.
To understand this better let us take an example from a hypothetical situation of two hypothetical students Vincent and Sharada. While Vincent is good in Mathematics and Science, he is not able to understand History and Geography that well, but Vincent is also a student whose emotional intelligence is on a high level.
For Sharada, understanding History and Geography is easy, but she is not able to solve Mathematics equations and understand Science subjects.
In addition to being anxious that she is not able to understand Mathematics and Science, Sharada is also not comfortable seeking help from others and as a result she is also not able to concentrate in History and Geography class.
Even though Vincent is not good in History and Geography he remains unaffected and in fact tries to overcome the same by seeking help from his teachers and his friends.
Hence, here we have two students facing similar problems but one among the two students is able to find solutions owing to a high level of emotional intelligence.
Gateway to Powerful Learning
Emotional Intelligence helps a student to gain immense confidence to overcome any obstacle and also to learn new things. All these will open up a gateway to powerful learning for students.
The benefits of emotional intelligence for students include managing stress efficiently, improving relationships, developing empathy, conscious decision making skills, being totally aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses and being highly motivated.
Studies have also proved low emotional intelligence can negatively affect one’s body and mind, hence, makes it difficult for learning.
Role of Teachers in A Student’s Life
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2002 launched a campaign to encourage emotional learning in the schools which were inspired from Goleman’s principles.
While on hand it is important for students to be self aware of their strengths and weaknesses the role of teachers in helping teachers in recognising these becomes very important.
As MacCann advocated that teachers are in a better position to help students in improving their emotional intelligence as their interaction with the students is more.
A teacher should be open to the ideas of talking about emotional intelligence, feelings in the classroom. They should carefully observe the students and be able to identify which student will need a boost.
The different ways in which the teachers can develop emotional intelligence among students are as follows:
Students must be encouraged to talk about their emotions in order to help them identify the same. Feelings such as happiness, sadness, stress, anger can be caused due to different situations.
Hence teachers should help the students in assessing those as the aim here should be to tell them that they are not wrong, but the way they put it forward was not in a proper manner.
It is very important that when a teacher recognises that a student needs help, then he/she listens to that student. The teacher can talk about how a particular situation made that student feel.
And after listening carefully the teacher can then suggest the student ways to overcome the same.
Just as it is important for students to have empathy a teacher should also empathise with the student.
4. Helping Students to Become Problem Solvers
A teacher should also encourage the students to solve their problems on their own. As this intrinsically motivates them to face challenges in the future.
5. Teachers Should Communicate Their Own Emotions
Another important way to motivate children is by communicating your own emotions and the reactions to it. As when this happens the child gets a reassurance that he/she is not the only one to go through those emotions.
The role of the teacher in moulding the personality of a student is very crucial. However, it is also important for the teacher to develop Emotional Intelligence on his/her own as that will ensure better understanding and improved engagement with students.
Below Mentioned Are Some of The Aspects the Teachers Can Work On
1. Be Open for Improvements
A teacher should always remember that he/she is not perfect and that there are different areas for improvement. A teacher should constantly introspect as to how he/she reacts to a certain situation and also be open to suggestions and advice.
2. Convey Your Emotions
It is always good to convey your emotions – whether it is feeling of disappointment, remorse, encouragement, happiness. When emotions are expressed freely it becomes easier to communicate.
It is always better to be assertive about your likes and dislikes and set your expectations in the beginning itself to prevent any confusions later.
4. Be Logical
There should always be a logical explanation behind your actions. And you should always remember this point that not everyone is going to like you and that it is not necessary to go out of your way to make other people like you.
5. Spread Compassion
One must always develop compassion and have a humane approach towards people, it is always good to develop a helping nature.
6. Develop a Motive
Having a definite motive as to what you want to achieve in life is very important. As this will also help you in dealing with the students in a better way.
7. Positive Perspective
It is all about developing a positive attitude. As this enables a person to face any situation effectively.
Thus, emotional intelligence is very important for students as it marks the beginning of a person in realizing his/her potential.
When a person has a high level of emotional intelligence as a student, then he/she will definitely become a successful person in the future.
As emotional intelligence guarantees overall personality development it not only improves academic performance but also improves relationships with others. After all, a happy mind nurtures a happy soul.