Nonsense or science? Should kids be learning emotional skills at school?

November 16, 2016

In a recent article by Even Porter for Upworthy, entitled “Researchers studied kindergarteners’ behavior and followed up 19 years later. Here are the findings“, the author seeks to answer the question around whether it’s simply good grades that matter, or if social success is just as important.

If you have been following the blog then you will appreciate our position on this. We are huge advocates of emotional intelligence and the opportunity to develop these skills as part of the school curriculum.  After all, the ability to self-advocate (contribute and problem-solve), self-regulate (emotionally and socially) , and self-manage (time and resources) are critical skills for work and life as adults.

However, the notion that these are ‘soft skills’ and previously labelled as ‘warm and fuzzies’ in the corporate world, would have some believe that they aren’t as important as test scores, grades and IQ. The research begs to differ.

The researchers behind this project wrote,”Success in school involves both social-emotional and cognitive skills, because social interactions, attention and self-control affect readiness for learning.” Here’s what else they found:

1. Those test scores we covet? They still matter, but maybe not for the reasons we thought.

2. Skills like sharing and cooperating pay off later in life.

3. Social behaviors can be learned and unlearned – meaning its never too late to change.

The bottom line? We need to do more that just teach kids information. We need to invest in teaching them how to relate to others and handle the things they’re feeling inside.

Click here for the full article.