11. EI in schools: A summary by Con Stough

Summarised by Rachel Green, Director, The Emotional Intelligence Institute, accredited user of the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso-Emotional-Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) and author of "How to develop emotional resilience and manage your emotions."

It is hard to keep up with all the developments in Emotional Intelligence. There is a massive amount of research being done in the area. This includes research on emotional intelligence assessments and programs for school-aged children and adolescents.

In Australia one of the key centres for emotional intelligence research in schools is based at the Brain Sciences Institute at Swinburne University in Melbourne. The research programme is led by Professor Con Stough.

Professor Stough was interviewed by The Age newspaper in 2011 and gave a brief easy-to-read summary of his research findings in schools. If you want a quick summary this is a great article to start with.

What is happening with emotional intelligence in schools?

The article begins by saying that Professor Stough has been exploring the role that emotional intelligence plays in the classroom because high levels of emotional intelligence "can open the door to a better life".

Certainly there is an ever increasing body of evidence showing the value of being smart in terms of emotional awareness, management and reasoning. People who have these skills are more likely to be successful in their lives.

Professor Stough was asked what trials he and his team have done. He is reported to have replied:

Over the past five years, dozens of trials. First we had to develop scales to measure emotional intelligence: to quantify emotional self-awareness, understanding the emotions of others, being able to manage emotions. Then we looked at whether it predicted scholastic achievement. We found it did — and it did over and above standard measures of achievement, such as IQ. And we found kids who had low emotional intelligence had more antisocial or aggressive behaviours in the classroom.

His research unit continues to research adolescent EI, bullying and victimisation for example, and relevant articles are on the website.

Which schools work with emotional intelligence?

Professor Stough lists some of the specific schools he has been working with. He continues to add more schools into his programmes and schools in Western Australia are now being included. His earlier schools were all in Eastern Australia.

Schools have changed their behaviour in response to the emotional intelligence programmes. Some now include emotional intelligence assessments and trainings into their curriculum.

Professor Stough explains:

One private school, Churchie in Brisbane — a famous boys' school — now tests everybody's emotional intelligence in the high school. They determine who is in the lower 5 to 10 per cent and then talk to the parents about doing some remedial development for those kids.

What is your school doing to foster the development of emotional intelligence in your children, and in your teachers?

As Professor Stough concludes:

There are many ways to develop EI but it doesn't develop by itself.

Read more, click here to read the whole article: Is emotional intelligence as important as IQ?

If you would like to know more about Professor Con Stough's work and research on emotional intelligence in school-age children and teenagers, please visit his new website: www.Aristotle-EI.com

Develop your school's emotional intelligence

There is so much that your leadership team can do to develop their emotional intelligence and the emotional intelligence of their school. We have a number of options to help:

  1. There is a series of emotional intelligence workshops, including: "Mastering emotional intelligence". 
  2. There is an emotional intelligence 2 DVD program "How to develop emotional resilience and manage your emotions".
  3. We provide a face-to-face 5 star emotional intelligence coaching package which can be conducted online or in our Kelmscott office.
  4. Emotional intelligence asessments can be conducted using the MSCEIT.
  5. We can also bring a whole emotional intelligence programme to your entire school for your students and teachers, under the guidance of Professor Con Stough.

For more details, or to make a booking, e-mail us now or pick up the phone and call us.

Develop the emotional intelligence of your teachers now and be an emotionally intelligent school.