Thursday, 2 April 2009

Emotional Awareness

And so the sixth and final competency; the 'E' of CIRCLE. We are, of course, indebted to the work of Daniel Goleman and his book Emotional Intelligence (
A psychoanalyst once said to me that you can have the highest IQ in the world but if your EQ - emotional quotient - is low then your IQ is useless to you. As educators we try to create schools where children feel secure, safe, nurtured and loved. We create situations and opportunities for children to build their self-esteem and find ways to promote their sense of self-worth on a daily basis.
This is not easy because the examinations and qualifications system embedded in education throughout the world separate achievers of certain types from non-achievers, with the latter group being deemed to have 'failed'. We all talk about the importance of self-esteem and EQ and yet in the UK we set the benchmark for success at a level where over 40% of 16 year olds fail every year.
The value of the inclusion of Emotional Awareness as one of our six competencies is to establish the need for each child to understand the importance of their own emotional well-being and the affect it has on their ability to learn. It is our equivalent of Anthony Seldon's Happiness lessons. Teaching Emotional Awareness skills encourages children to think about the mental framework and context to their learning, what motivates them and what makes them feel satisfied.