The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Education System

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 2067 |

Pages: 5|

11 min read

Published: Dec 3, 2020

Words: 2067|Pages: 5|11 min read

Published: Dec 3, 2020

Only thirty-six percent of people are able to “accurately identify their emotions as they happen”. Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to recognize and understand one’s own emotions, and being able to manage said emotions under pressure. Intelligence quotient (IQ) is a measure of human intelligence, often described as one’s ability to solve problems. Emotional intelligence and IQ are both important factors in becoming successful in a future endeavor. However, emotional intelligence has shown to be more desirable when it comes to hiring for a job. The American education system currently focuses on IQ, but it should be altered in order to focus on emotional intelligence. In the profession of early childhood teaching, it is important to have a good knowledge of emotional intelligence in order to understand the emotions of young children, and to teach them about emotional intelligence. Working Thesis Statement: Emotional intelligence is more important than intelligence quotient in the profession of an early childhood educator, due to the fact that it is important to teach children about emotional intelligence when they are young. The education system should be equipped with the tools to teach young children about emotional intelligence and to continue to teach emotional intelligence throughout the primary, secondary, and college years, so that students are equipped with the proper knowledge to be successful in their future professions. Emotional intelligence was discovered by Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer in 1990. They described it as “a form of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and action.” Daniel Goleman, a psychologist and author of multiple books on emotional intelligence, saw Salovey and Mayer’s work and decided to pursue his own studies on emotional intelligence. Goleman broke down emotional intelligence into five elements, self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Goleman described the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace and how to become better at recognizing one’s emotions in his book Working with Emotional Intelligence. Goleman stated “The single most important factor in job performance and advancement is emotional intelligence.” He believed that emotional intelligence was more important than intelligence quotient.

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In the early 1900’s, the French government needed a way to determine which students were most likely to experience difficulty in school. Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon, psychologists at the Laboratory of Experimental Psychology, began to develop questions that focused on areas that were not typically taught in school, such as memory, problem-solving, and attention skills. The test they created, now known as the Binet-Simon Scale, was the first IQ test. Binet and Simon were able to observe that some children were able to answer harder questions that were meant for adults, and vice versa. However, Binet believed that intelligence was not able to be measured by a single number; that one could easily be more intelligent that they seemed and that their intelligence could grow throughout their life. The IQ test has been modified since Binet and Simon, but is still in effect today. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines success as “a favorable or desired outcome.” However, success has a different meaning to everyone. Success for one person can mean working their way up to becoming the CEO of a company, while for another it can mean raising a happy family.

Emotional intelligence plays a huge factor when it comes to being successful in a profession. The Center for Creative Leadership found that “the primary causes of executive derailment involve deficiencies in emotional competence.” In addition, Egon Zehnder International, an international research firm, analyzed 515 senior administrators and found that those who “were strongest in emotional intelligence were more likely to succeed than those strongest in either IQ or relevant previous experience.” Many people would rather work with someone friendly, who they can empathize with, rather than work with someone who is the smartest or most experienced. However, many people have little to no knowledge about emotional intelligence. The purpose of schooling is to educate students in basic knowledge and eventually teach the students about the profession they wish to pursue. Most students begin primary school around age six and continue through secondary school until age 18. Then, they can continue on to college, which can span from two to eight years, depending on the students chose field of study. Students are often taught basic science, math, history, and reading skills in primary school and expand upon these skills in secondary school. However, students are not often taught about everyday skills needed to succeed in life. One of these necessary skills is understanding emotional intelligence.

According to the journal, The Guardian, “emotional intelligence a gateway to better learning, friendships, academic success and employment. Skills such as these developed in our formative years at school often provide the foundation for future habits later on in life.” In a survey I conducted of eighteen people, 44.4% claimed that they had rarely learned about emotional intelligence in their school, while 16.7% claimed that they had learned about emotional intelligence in their school. However, 61.1% claimed that they had learned about their IQ in school before. Maurice Elias, Rutgers University psychology professor, claims that emotional intelligence is the 'missing piece' in American education. It is imperative that we start to educate students about emotional intelligence. I have been a student in the Florida education system for thirteen years. I did not learn about emotional intelligence until I was in eleventh grade. At my school, we were often encouraged to complete activities and assignments meant to higher our IQ. The school encouraged us to try and score high on standardized tests. In a survey conducted within my class of twenty-three students who currently attend Dayspring Academy, 73.9% claimed that their teachers had never taught them about emotional intelligence before, while only 4.3% said that their teachers had taught them about emotional intelligence before. We rarely addressed emotions or emotional intelligence. One being never learned about emotional intelligence and four being always learned about EI.

Many schools encourage students to learn more, become smarter, and to score high on standardized tests. While these are all great achievements, students should also be taught more about the basic skills needed to succeed in life. Students in school often work on assignments crafted to higher their IQ. However, I believe that students should be taught about emotional intelligence as well. IQ is important in the workforce, but emotional intelligence has shown to be more valuable. A national survey conducted by CareerBuilder, taken by over 2600 hiring managers and human resource professionals, resulted in seventy-five percent of employers saying that when “being considered for a promotion, the high EI candidate will beat out the high IQ candidate.” If most employers in America agree that emotional intelligence is a better asset to their companies than a high IQ, then schools should be educating their students about emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence should be taught in schools starting in the early years of pre-kindergarten. There are about 6,000 hours spent awake in a year, and students are in school for an average of 1,000 of those hours, an average of six hours spent in school each day. If schools spent half an hour every day teaching their student about emotional intelligence, the students would be learning about emotional intelligence for 183 hours a year!

According to” IDEAS.TED”, “Research has found that people who are emotionally skilled perform better in school, have better relationships, and engage less frequently in unhealthy behaviors.” Children are often taught to hide their emotions, but instead, they should be learning how to express them from a young age. In a recent survey I conducted, completed by 18 people, one hundred percent said that emotional intelligence should be taught in schools. When children learn how to express their emotions at a young age, it becomes easier to express their emotions as their life goes on. In a recent interview with Tamara Beaudry, an educator and daycare owner of 21 years, she explained that she believes young children should be taught about emotional intelligence. She claimed “In early childhood education, children should be taught emotional intelligence over IQ, because that comes in the later years. Early childhood learning should be play based; being socially and emotionally aware and ready to go to big school.” Emotional intelligence is a key factor to being successful throughout the years of schooling and later on in life. Schools should start to implement more emotional intelligence based learning into their curriculums, so that in turn, the students can become better at expressing their emotions and understanding the emotions of others. Then, when the students have a good foundation in emotional intelligence, they can start to learn about their IQ and expand upon both platforms. Learning about emotional intelligence should be continued throughout the primary, secondary, and college years, so that the students who are going to become educators are equipped with the proper knowledge of emotional intelligence to teach the next generation. This way, all students will have a good grip on both emotional intelligence and IQ to use in their future professions, and the cycle of teaching emotional intelligence can continue. An early childhood educator typically works with children from birth until kindergarten. This age is the most important when it comes to teaching; young children are learning important skills and facts that they will use for the rest of their lives.

According to Johns Hopkins University, “the human brain develops the vast majority of its neurons, and is at its most receptive to learning, between birth and three years of age.” In order for children to be properly educated about emotional intelligence, their educator needs to have a good understanding of emotional intelligence. Not only do early childhood educators have to teach their students about emotional intelligence, but they have to be able to read the emotions of the children, as they may not be able to explain how they feel using words. In order to be a successful early childhood educator, one needs to be able to read a situation and be able to analyze the best way to help the child. In the same interview with Tamara Beaudry, she explained how she uses emotional intelligence as an early childhood educator. She explained that she is “attached to the kids and I love the kids that I work with. I try to teach them how to handle their emotions. I try to be caring towards them and I love on them.” Being able to empathize and having good social skills are necessary when taking care of children; when a young child is in an environment that is not their home, they need to feel safe and nurtured. Having a high IQ and teaching children nonstop will have no impact on their lives. They may be more advanced than their peers, but they may be lacking in social skills. Early Childhood Today, a branch of Scholastic, interviewed Daniel Goleman.

The asked Goleman about what an educator needed, regarding emotional intelligence, to be successful. Goleman explained that: Teachers need to be comfortable talking about feelings. This is part of teaching emotional literacy… You can teach about the most basic emotions, such as happiness and anger, to the youngest children and later touch on more complicated feelings, such as jealousy, pride, and guilt. The basic premise that children must learn about emotions is that all feelings are okay to have; however, only some reactions are okay. Emotional intelligence is necessary to be a successful early childhood educator. Educators need to be able to teach their students about emotional intelligence, not only by teaching, but also by example. Educators should be empathetic and caring towards their students.

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It is more important to have a good understanding of emotional intelligence rather than a high IQ in the profession of an early childhood educator. Standard American education currently focuses on raising the IQ of students. However, the education system should start to implement emotional intelligence based learning into their curriculums, so that students are equipped with the proper knowledge to be successful in their future endeavors. Early childhood educators need to be properly educated on emotional intelligence, in order to teach the next generation. The thirty-six percent of people who are not able to correctly identify their emotions could easily be lowered with simple changes to the American education system.

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The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Education System. (2020, December 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from
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