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ERIC Number: EJ888626
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0013-127X
The Secret to Success
Goleman, Daniel
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v74 n4 p8-9 Dec 2008
Schools are beginning to offer an increasing number of courses in social and emotional intelligence, teaching students how to better understand their own emotions and the emotions of others. It sounds warm and fuzzy, but it's a trend backed up by hard data. This article discusses what new studies reveal--that teaching kids to be emotionally and socially competent boosts their academic achievement. More precisely, when schools offer students programs in social and emotional learning, their achievement scores gain around 11 percentage points. At a forum held by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), a study run by researchers at Loyola University and the University of Illinois, which analyzed evaluations of more than 233,000 students across the country, was previewed. Social-emotional learning, they discovered, helps students in every way. Their analysis reveals that students receiving lessons in social and emotional skills improved on every measure of positive behavior, such as classroom discipline, attendance, and liking school--and were less likely to engage in anti-social behavior, from bullying and fights to substance abuse. Among these students, there was also a drop in the number who were depressed, anxious, and alienated. What's more, the study showed that the positive gains were biggest among "at-risk" kids, who are most likely to fail in their education. Teaching students skills like empathy, self-awareness, and how to manage distressing emotions makes them better learners. Data shows that when the brain's centers for distress are activated, they impair the functioning of the areas involved in memory, attention, and learning. In other words, because of the way brains are wired, emotions can either enhance or inhibit one's ability to learn. Courses in social and emotional learning also make great sense because of neuroplasticity--the fact that repeated experiences shape the brain. The more a child practices self-discipline, empathy, and cooperation, the stronger the underlying circuits become for these essential life skills.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A