EDUCATION TRIBUNE Tuesday, May 13, 2003, Chandigarh, India
 

Emotional quotient more important than IQ
Vinity Gill
I
n a society that emphasises on so much on IQ (intelligence quotient), it is ironic that studies show that IQ accounts for only 10-20% when determining life success. The huge impact on life success is EQ (emotional quotient): Maybe this is why Daniel Goleman (psychologist) refers to EQ as the "master aptitude" because it guides the use of our intellect and other abilities.

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Emotional quotient more important than IQ
Vinity Gill

In a society that emphasises on so much on IQ (intelligence quotient), it is ironic that studies show that IQ accounts for only 10-20% when determining life success. The huge impact on life success is EQ (emotional quotient): Maybe this is why Daniel Goleman (psychologist) refers to EQ as the "master aptitude" because it guides the use of our intellect and other abilities.

The question then arises can you teach emotional "skills" in the complex atmosphere of schools? The reality is the current educational paradigm has little to do with the specific content of education. Rather, it re-enforces the concomitant drive to increased individualism:

l Attributing quantitative values to qualitative phenomena ó which is evident from the all-pervasive marks system which rapidly becomes the dominant goal of pupils

l Encouraging individual competition rather than team spirit.

l Making believe that learning, takes place only in given places at specific times, with predefined subjects and with the help of experts.

l Emphasising on rationality and logic while neglecting emotions and relationships.

THE CHALLENGE

It would seem that "teaching" emotional intelligence challenges all basic tenets of the current paradigm of school-based learning. Many teachers and parents may well insist that such learning is not a question for schools but the responsibility of parents alone. However, parents are not always in a position to cope with or dispense such emotional skills.

THE CHANGE IS POSSIBLE

Scientific research on how the brain works indicates that the formation of emotional skills is much easier in the "formative" years from birth to the late teens.

What is EQ or emotional intelligence? It is the ability to understand emotions and their causes, the capability of effectively regulate these emotions in oneself and in others and most importantly being able to use the emotions as a source of information for problem-solving, being creative and dealing with social situations.

An example:

Teacher: Tom, how are you feeling? You look a little down.

Tom: I'm really upset, I got a "D" in a test and I really studied.

Teacher: I can understand why you would be upset; it sounds like you really wanted to do well in this test.

Tom: Isure did!

Teacher: What would help you feel better?

Tom: I guess if I understood why I did so poorly then I would know how to do better next time.

Teacher: Can you think of anything you might do differently?

Tom: Well, Iguess I could get some help studying or I could study longer, or .......

What qualities did the teacher display? He/she was able to read Tom's non-verbal communication.

* The teacher acknowledged, accepted and empathised with Tom's feelings, instead of criticising him or invalidating him by saying, "Did you really study" or "Don't be upset, you'll do better on the next test"

* Tom was able to identify and label his feelings in a positive way and further direct his mind to think of all possible solutions. It shows his ability to:

* Understand himself

* Express his emotions appropriately

* Motivate himself

* Regulate his emotions

* Evaluate risk

* Resolve conflicts

Researchers have found that children with high EQ:

* are more confident

* are better learners

* have higher self-esteem

* have few behavioural problems

* are more optimistic

* handle their emotions better

* are happier

 

The writer is a psychologist based in Pune.

Fulbright fellowships

The US Educational Foundation in India (USEFI) has announced Fulbright fellowships for Indian academics and professionals for research, teaching and professional development in the USA during 2004-2005.

For application zdetails and materials, check<www.fulbright_india.org<http://www.fulbright_india.org>> or contact the USEFI offices in New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai.


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Late bloomers

Some people have a more difficult time achieving in school than others. These "late bloomers", despite rough beginnings persevered and became renowned achievers.

Beethoven... His father called him hopeless, but he went on to become a world-famous composer.

Winston Churchill... He failed the sixth grade. Later, he became the Prime Minister of England.

Thomas Edison... Edisonís teacher told him he was unable to learn. He invented the light bulb.

Albert Einstein... Einstein could not speak until the age of 4; he couldnít read until the age of 7. He discovered the theory of relativity.

Henry Ford... As a teenager, he was evaluated as showing "no promise". Ford invented the Model T car.

Louis Pasteur... He was given a rating of "mediocre" in chemistry at Royal College. Pasteur later became a famous bacteriologist and chemist who made valuable contribution to the world of medicine.

Issac Newton... Issacís work in elementary school was "poor". He went on to discover the law of gravity.

"Emotional quotient" or "emotional intelligence" is a greater predictor of success at work than "intelligent quotient". Yet the issue is largely ignored by so many teachers.

The reason behind the "phenomenon" is not hard to see. Even though research has proved beyond doubt that a personís "emotional quotient" is as important, if not more, than oneís "intelligence quotient", teachers are not aware of the reality.

Why? Well, few are bothered about the latest research in the arena of education. Instructors come to the classrooms, dictate notes, read poems aloud and leave, session after session. "They seldom go to the library for having a look at foreign journals or sit in front of the computer to read about the latest developments on the internet," say sociologists.

Teachers, they insist, should realise the importance of social skills-building activities. The instructors should, in fact, maintain a balance between stress on "intellectual potential" and "emotional-cum-social potential". Rather, they should remember that an isolated genius will not be a "full contributing member of society", they opine.

First of all, the teachers should not make the children believe that their time must be filled with "constructive" activities alone. They should not forget that "quiet time" is necessary for "creative thinking". TNSTop


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