Why Emotional Intelligence is Important to Learning.
I once had a parent ask, “How do you apply emotional intelligence to a child’s learning?” What a great question to start a discussion on why emotional intelligence is important to learning!
The Negative Learning Experience
Let’s say one of our children comes to us and says, “I hate math!” They obviously have had some negative experiences, something traumatic, (yes, even a simple math incident can be traumatic to a child), and they become emotionally charged when they think of that subject. Let’s talk about this “hate for math” (could be any subject really).
We have found the most successful approach to turning negative emotions into positive ones is to have targeted conversational activities with our students. This means we work through the student’s emotions using conversational activities, in this case it’s all about math.
The student comes to realize, “I feel angry when I think about just going to math class. I feel shame when I think about the low mark I got on my fractions test. I feel this hopeless despair when I think about passing my next math test or even passing the class.” These built up emotions have created an emotional learning block to math, making it difficult for them to learn, even from the most skilled teacher.
Turning Negative Emotions into Positive Ones
When our children learn to use the right emotion with the right feeling it creates a new awareness that will help them self regulate and be able to bounce back. “Yes, that is exactly how I feel about math!” This awareness triggers the ‘emotional side of the brain’ to process the unresolved emotions creating a new ‘way of thinking’. This facilitates both learning and understanding and makes way for them to move past the emotions that were blocking the learning.
Processing Emotions Helps Learning
With targeted emotion-coaching during each math lesson a student can process a little more of the emotions tied to that subject. This means they eventually become more resilient and can handle making mistakes and being disappointed.
It also means a student can improve their ability to regulate their emotions when it comes to doing a subject like math, allowing them to be ready and available to receive instruction. The most exhilarating part for each student is that it begins to make sense and they “get it!”
Bridging Emotions and Intelligence
Our mission at APA is to help students experience joy in learning, no matter what the academic subject. The newfound joy they experience seems to happen all of a sudden but in reality it’s because they have been progressively working on creating a bridge between their emotions and their intelligence. This means they can now process their emotions. And this is how they become emotionally intelligent, and as a result, do better in school and life!
Want to know more about how emotional intelligence is important to learning? We are excited to be offering a free Workshop, "Building Emotionally Intelligent and Resilient Families" on March 23, 2019 in Medicine Hat, Alberta, where you can learn how to apply these Emotional Intelligence methods with your own family. Come join us!
Contact us for more information.