Emotional Literacy Term Paper

Pages: 7 (2647 words)  ·  Style: Harvard  ·  Bibliography Sources: 12  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Psychology

¶ … emotional intelligence (EI) beginning with the original founders Mayer & Salovery. In addition, we will reveal the circumstances that led to the translation of EI into British Educational policy. Furthermore, this paper will reveal the growth and development of the concept of EI and its transportation across the water from American and into British educational policy. In addition, varies policies and government initiatives will be examined as emotions literacy has become a vital mental health tool in Britain. Also, this paper will demonstrate scholarly evidence that supports integration of EI into schools. This is because the emotional literacy development of children has been supported as a solution to many of the problems being experienced in schools from behavioral to educational attainment. Lastly, we review the current models of emotional literacy being used by schools and organizations.

The concept of emotional intelligence

The term emotional intelligence (EI) was coined by a team of two scientists in 1990 named Mayer & Salovery who categorized this form of human intelligence into three different categories; namely; (1) enabling a person to monitor one's own emotions and that of others; (2) to differentiate between these emotions whether they are positive or negative and (3) to utilize these emotions towards positive ends (Mayer and Salovery, 1990). These three categories have formed the basis of EI research and advancement into educational curriculum.Download full
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Emotional Literacy Assignment

In addition to that they also presented three broad categories of emotional intelligence; namely, (1) Emotional Perception, which they defined as is the ability of an individual to recognize the emotions in one-self and in others whether they are positive or negative; (2) Emotional Regulation; which is classified as the ability to increase or decrease the intensity of emotions. They explained that individuals have got to be capable of decreasing the intensity of the negative emotions and maintaining the intensity of the positive ones in order to get the best possible results; and (3) Emotional Knowledge, which they defined as comprehending all aspects of human emotions i.e. recognizing whether they are negative or positive, utilizing them to increase the depth, breath, accuracy, clarity and precision of everyday thinking and remain motivated towards achieving the desired goals (Mayer and Salovery, 1990). Their contribution towards advancement of the emotional intelligence phenomenon has thus far been the most significant one.

Mayer and Salovery's (1990) conceptualization of EI became popular in the mid-1990s when Daniel Goleman published his book on Emotional Intelligence. The idea of EI in the book encompassed along with other necessary facilities, Howard Gardner's intrapersonal, as well as, interpersonal intelligences. He divided these extra individualistic capabilities into five categories. First amongst these five categories is understanding emotions, which means to possess the ability to identify a particular emotion as and when it occurs. The second is managing emotions or the ability to appropriately manage and deal with negative emotions like fear, anxiety, anger and sadness etc. The third is the ability to motivating oneself, which involves directing emotions towards a goal that require self-control and avoiding acting on one's impulses. The forth is the ability to recognizing emotions in other people, which means empathizing with others and appreciating the differences in people, as well as, increasing one's social compatibility. Lastly, the fifth category is handling relationships, which means managing, and dealing with, emotions in others and being socially competent (Goleman, 1996). Over the years, EI has become a global phenomenon and it is being enforced as a vital component in the school curriculum.

Background of EI integration into the British school curriculum

The British scholar Steiner described Emotional Literacy as a tool to achieve human emancipation in the late 1970's. He based this conclusion, though not exclusively, on Eric Berne's concept of "Transactional Analysis." As stated earlier, the term "emotional intelligence" was first coined by Salovery and Mayer (1990). However, it is worth noting that they founded their theory on Steiner's research wherein they linked the affective and cognitive domains i.e. The emotional and the intellectual aspects, together as one (Salovery and Mayer, 1990).

Thereafter, like Gardner in 1993 and Goleman in 1996, some scholars began to express their disaffection with the conventional classifications and definitions of human intelligence. They argued conventional intelligence theories have failed to counter lack of attentiveness and problem solving skills, as well as, lapse in memory. They asserted that EI is as important phenomenon that influences as well as augments many cognitive aspects like memory, attentiveness, critical thinking, and educational skills. Similarly, EI also has the potential to foster positive relationships, by helping people get rid of negative emotions. Last but not least, they revealed that emotional literacy also promotes innovative thinking and leadership qualities, which in turn produces higher organizational performances and accomplishments (Gardner, 1993 and Goleman 1996).

Furthermore, British healthcare organizations have also referred to EI as a useful tool for cognitive and mental development of both adolescents and adults. Emotional literacy has been closely linked to mental health and according to the Mental Health Foundation children who are emotionally literate are less likely to experience mental health problems and, if affected, are less likely to suffer over a longer period of time (Mental Health Foundation, 1998, 2001, 2002). Furthermore, the National Health Service Health Advisory Service says the definition put forward for emotional literacy by Steiner (1979) is also quite compatible with advanced mental fitness levels as it allows individuals and groups to grow and develop not only psychologically and emotionally but also spiritually, as well as intellectually (National Health Service Health Advisory Service. 1995). These conclusions were also influential in making EI a permanent part of school curriculum.

Similarly, the harmful and damaging implications of neglecting adolescent emotional literacy had been studied by Daniel Goleman during the 1990s. Later he recorded, on the basis of a global survey, that such worldwide neglect has produced adolescents who are extremely weak, physiologically and depressed, emotionally (Goleman, 1996). The conclusions of his study sparked many researchers and educationalists to review their stance on school education. They felt that along with technical subjects, students should be equipped with skills that enhance self understanding and better relationship management.

Since the late 1990's many for-profit, as well as, non-profit organizations have taken the initiative to introduce EI into their training manuals. These organizations have recognized the significance of EI as a tool to prevent several mental disorders. Their acknowledgement paved way for standard curriculum and measurement methods being adopted nationwide by them. Some of the noteworthy names of such organizations are: "Antidote" also referred to as "the Campaign for Emotional Literacy," which had been established in 1995 (see Antidote, 2008); the National Emotional Literacy Interest Group, which was established in 2000 (see Nelig, 2008). These organizations have been proactively engaged in educating EI to adolescents, teachers, communities, healthcare institution, corporations and governments.

A concise examination of varies policies and government initiatives

In light of aforementioned evidence, both American and British governments have taken policy initiatives to include EI as a vital component of mental well-being. For instance, several important departments in the U.S. government like the Department of Health, Education along with Employment/Skills have been emphasizing adolescent mental health as important and significant concepts. The department of education has taken concrete steps, through the implementation of NCLB, to ensure that school curriculum standards meet EI skill sets. Similarly, in Britain, the role of emotional literacy has been incorporated in many governmental public policies. These include but are not limited to:

National Healthy Schools Standard (Department of Health, 1999);

The Learning Mentor Strand of the "Excellence in Cities" Program (Department for Education and Employment 1999);

The Children's National Service Framework (Department of Health, 2003a); and Every Child Matters (Department of Health, 2003b).

All these programs have either overtly or covertly supported the use of EI skills. However, these programs have one thing in common, which is that they do not support an integrated approach towards EI. Ofsted (2004) stresses the need for an integrated approach and provides a framework for joint and collaborative effort. It asserts, "An integrated approach to inspection will work...by establishing an agreed set of principles to underpin all inspection activity; by defining the contributions to outcomes for children and young people which settings and services may make; identifying the extent to which these will be evaluated in different inspections; and developing a consistent approach to making judgments; by conducting joint area reviews, and, in doing so, pooling evidence from a range of sources; by linking these with a unified system of performance assessment (Ofsted, 2004, pg 6)."

The British educational system can greatly benefit from the integration of EI into the school curriculum. EI can serve as a significant strategy to prevent mental disorders and vis-a-vis promote mental health and well-being. However, currently the school staff lacks skills needed to fully utilize the EI concept. Antidote (2008), the non-profit organization, points out that not only the teachers should be highly skilled in EI but they also need to give students freedom to explore their emotions through collaborative learning… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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