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ERIC Number: EJ877299
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Nov
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0955-2308
Developing Self-Esteem and Emotional Well-Being--Inclusion or Intrusion?
Ecclestone, Kathryn
Adults Learning, v16 n3 p11-13 Nov 2004
The growing popularity of notions such as "self esteem" and "emotional intelligence" reflect people's shifts in thinking. From the pages of self-help manuals and women's magazines, self-esteem, emotional well-being and emotional intelligence have gone mainstream. This is leading to new professional activities in emotional management, life coaching, mentoring, counselling and interventions to build self-esteem and make people feel good emotionally in the pursuit of motivation, educational achievement and social inclusion. In this article, the author shares questions and cautions that signal her concern about the danger of an inadvertent drift towards notions that are not only theoretically spurious but which lead to interventions for which there is no evidence of good effect. The author argues that it is now almost impossible to challenge the view that developing empathy, emotional well-being and self-esteem are progressive roles for educators. But beliefs that people are victims of their emotions and suffer from low self-esteem and vulnerability can all too easily become disempowering. A logical implication is that people need professional help and institutional recognition in the form of comforting educational experiences. Interventions that focus on emotional vulnerability, which suggest that people suffer from low self-esteem or are emotionally unintelligent and which confer esteem, might be seen as a springboard to empowerment and challenge. The danger is that such interventions and the beliefs that accompany them end up producing low educational horizons and negative views of people.
National Institute of Adult Continuing Education. Renaissance House, 20 Princess Road West, Leicester, LE1 6TP, UK. Tel: +44-1162-044200; Fax: +44-1162-044262; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A