Emotional intelligence is recognized as an important factor in quality of life and outcome achievement. The body of evidence supporting this theory has increased dramatically in recent years. But little research has examined how education influences emotional intelligence. “Some empirical findings suggest that emotional intelligence, unlike IQ, can be improved through learning and development opportunities,” said Jacqueline Landau of Salem State College, and lead author of a recent study on the effects of classroom participation on emotional intelligence. “The purpose of the present study is to explore the role participative classroom environments play in the development of college student’s emotional intelligence (EI), and whether EI is related to academic achievement.”
College classes offer students a very different experience than high school classrooms. In college, professors encourage interactions and peers participate through experiments, debates and other activities that force them to rely on emotional comprehension. Landau said, “The more engaging and participative the educational experience of students, the more opportunity they should have to develop emotional flexibility and resiliency, learn to read the emotions of others, and use their knowledge of emotions to help guide their actions.”
To determine if the actively engaging environment increased EI, Landau surveyed over 200 undergraduate students. She found that overall, even though men participated more than women, the setting provided benefits to EI. “As we predicted, supportive climate was positively related to emotional intelligence,” said Landau. ”The supportive climate scale included items related to support by both faculty and peers.” Landau noted that the interaction between the peers provided a more robust opportunity for emotional intelligence than the professor-student relationship. But she also discovered that academic performance was not linked to EI. “Our results also showed, in accordance with a couple of previous studies, that emotional intelligence was not related to GPA.” Landau added, “Future research should consider how personality variables may interact with participation variables to influence GPA. Future studies could also consider whether EI might be related to important outcomes for college students other than EI, for example the ability to find a job.”
Landau, Jacqueline, and Gavriel Meirovich. “DEVELOPMENT OF STUDENTS’ EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE: PARTICIPATIVE CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENTS IN HIGHER EDUCATION.” Academy of Educational Leadership Journal 15.3 (2011): 89-104. Print.
© Copyright 2011 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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