From time to time, I’ve written about the importance of teaching children skills related to emotional and social intelligence. As it turns out, PBS’s NewsHour did a segment on how teaching children emotional intelligence not only reduces anti-social behavior but helps students raise their academic test scores. The segment includes interviews with Daniel Goleman and teachers at a school in New York City.
In the light of slashed state budgets around the country, what interests me is how inexpensive lessons in emotional intelligence can be and how effective they are: in improving the classroom environment, helping students focus on their schoolwork, and giving them a foundation for greater emotional and social health as they go out into the world. As one teacher notes in the NewsHour show:
“[If they get take this class], when they become adults, they’ll have better skills, they’ll have better relationships, they’ll know what to do when there’s conflict. I think that’s the payoff, when they become adults.”