How important is emotional intelligence (EI) in teaching and learning? Emotional Intelligence will be introduced into trainee teacher education, and that teachers would be tested on their EI in their course of study. Do we need emotional intelligence tests for teachers?
I think emotional intelligence is important to our daily life. Not only educators would require certain forms of “training” and development in EI, it seems that learners would need them too. How and what sort of “training” and development programs on Emotional Intelligence would be helpful and supportive for educators and professors?
Our society seems to focus a lot on the training and education of new teachers. How would teachers learn best in Emotional Intelligence. Here are my posts: (1), (2), (3) on emotional intelligence.
How to foster Emotional Intelligence? (Innovating Learning – Creative Classroom CCR P17)
Emotional intelligence should be valued in CCR as it is a key factor for creative learning. It can be fostered through a variety of activities that aim to help learners recognise and manage emotions, form positive relationships, and successfully handle the demands of growing up in a complex and constantly changing world.
There are now courses offered on Emotional Intelligence including this one on Coursera.
I think the best way to learn about Emotional Intelligence would be action learning, where EI is used for personal reflection, together with research and practice at work (in creative classroom), where educators (professors, leaders etc.) and learners could learn from each others. Have we forgotten that every one of us is a learner, including the directors, CEO, managers, professors, teachers and learners within institutions, and in social and learning networks?
Training the new teachers on EI alone would not improve the overall “QUALITY” of education and learning, just like quality cannot be designed by the Quality Manager only. I think EI needs to be more thoroughly researched, theorized, practiced, and reflected, before it is “forced” through human’s minds. EI itself is not a panacea to all problems of education. Educators and learners should realize that EI could help them in overcoming obstacles and building resilience in their learning journey. However, we shouldn’t be “testing” EI in order to ensure compliance with regulations, in order to screen the “good” teacher from “unsuitable” teacher. Rather, we should think of encouraging teachers to develop their creative thinking and learning capacity, critical thinking capability, and problem solving ability, with their EI so as to support and improve the education system – by leading, coaching and mentoring their leaders, supporters, peers and learners.
In summary, we could develop EI in our course of learning. EI should be viewed as a strategic affordance that would help leaders, educators and learners in recognising and managing emotions, forming positive relationships, overcoming obstacles and building resilience in their learning journey, resulting in their abilities in solving problems and making decisions. We should be encouraging all educators (professors, teachers, administrators) and learners to co-develop and co-learn with their colleagues and learners, in order to improve overall QUALITY of education and learning.