Review on: "An Intelligent Look at Emotional Intelligence"
Author: Guy Claxton
Submitted by: Dr. Blessy Mathew Savu
Professor: Dr. Maria-Elena Osiceanu
Course: Psychology, within the Psycho-Pedagogy Module
"An Intelligent Look at Emotional Intelligence" is a publication commissioned by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, authored by Guy Claxton who is a professor of the Learning Sciences at the University of Bristol in the UK. The Association of Teachers and Lecturers is a trade union with over 120,000 members from the educational field, and as such this booklet expresses a recent trend in vision and perspectives over emotional intelligence in the classroom. The ...view middle of the document...
He does so reflecting how the feminist movement, the work of philosophers, the masses' fascination with soap operas and the rise of counseling and psychotherapy have all contributed to this global shift in perspectives on the forms of intelligence.
The historical timeline of EQ presented by Claxton starts off with an almost comical reflection of how EQ was coined and perceived by Leuner (1966) who prescribed LSD for women who rejected their social responsibilities because of their low Emotional Intelligence. Claxton then moved on to Gardner (1983) who he acknowledges as having brought EQ to the forefront of discussions surrounding intelligence, followed by other psychologists, leading to a discussion on Goleman's publications which not only redefined (1995) but led to expanding EQ in every possible direction (1998).
Comparing Emotional Intelligence to other concepts of similar consequences, the author provides a brief discussion on how Emotional Intelligence has been paraphrased in different contextual applications within the UK. PSHE (personal, social health and emotion education) for instance, is something that is practiced even in schools that use the British curriculum in Romania, and is in fact quite similar to the "dirigentie" classes organized by the form teachers (or homeroom teachers) in the Romanian educational system. Claxton then enters a discussion on the validity of choosing "emotional literacy" over "Emotional Intelligence" and concludes by pointing out that they are essentially the same and that he prefers sticking to EQ as the representative terminology for the efforts in boosting emotional development of the youth.
Having sustained his choice in terminology and having explained its origins and popularity, Claxton proceeds to present the methods used in teaching Emotional Intelligence. He begins by justifying that EQ can be taught as opposed to IQ - which is largely dependent on inherited abilities. He mentions a handful of techniques used by schools and in classrooms that range from general to specific techniques and others which are related to organizational management. The classroom techniques sampled by Claxton are not explained in depth, which is a genuine shortcoming, especially considering that this booklet is an informational source for practicing teachers and lecturers. The techniques mentioned in the booklet include: circle time; explicit lessons during PSHE using role play or other techniques; a student checking in technique of registering daily emotions: in relation to their alertness and mood, using numbers and colors respectively. Claxton refrains from making a judgment on the value or validity of these applications in this section, though clearly his tone hints at a degree of pessimism, particularly with regards to the institutional management and adoption of "emotional literacy in the conduct and dealings with both staff and students".
In the final section within this "Part One", Claxton presents...