These studies show that while EI is being integrated into the British educational policy, many concrete steps still have to be taken to make full use of EI skills.
Evidence in favor of Emotional Literacy
There is growing scholarly evidence that shows definitive links between higher emotional intelligence (EI) and overall success in life. For instance, Rubin (1999) in his study found that students with high EI skills are less likely to indulge in violent and aggressive acts and more likely to be social. Similarly, Ciarrochi, Chan and Chaputi (2000) in their study found that adolescents with high EI skills show empathy and understanding. In the same way, other scholars too have found positive relationships between high EI and disengagement with use of alcohol and tobacco (Trinidad and Johnson, 2002; Trinidad, Unger, Chou and Anderson Johnson, 2004). Furnham and Petrides (2003) found that students with high EI are generally happy and content as opposed to students with low EI who got depressed easily. Likewise, Petrides, Fredrickson and Furnham (2004) found that students with high EI had higher attendance rates then their counterparts. Ciarrochi, Deane and Anderson (2002) reported positive relationship between high EI skills and lesser propensity to depression, stress and hopelessness.
On the one hand, association between lower EI skills and overall failure in life too has been widely acknowledged by scholars. For instance, lower EI skills has been positively related to low self-worth and esteem (Salovery, Stroud, Woolery and Epel, 2002); higher anxiety and depression levels (Summerfeldt, Kloosterman, Antony and Parker, 2006); lack of control over impulse (Schutte et al., 1998) and higher consumption of alcohol, tobacco and drugs (Riley and Schutte, 2003). On the other hand, several scholars have revealed that higher EI skills are strongly associated with overall contentment with life's achievements and accomplishments (Palmer, Donaldson and Stough, 2002; Bastian, Burns and Nettelbeck, 2005; Livingstone and Day, 2005; Gignac, 2006).
Can emotional literacy be taught?
There is concrete evidence that emotional literacy is vital for mental health. However, the big question is can educationalists translate an abstract concept and one that is personal to every individual into a subject that can be graded? In other words, can student performance be measured? As mentioned earlier many for-profit and non-profit organizations are using EI and training community members, schools, corporations, government officials (see Nelig, 2008; Antidote, 2008). Other scholars too have developed socio emotional learning models (Elias, Arnold and Steiger-Hussey, 2003; Weare, 2004). These models not only provide adequate standards to educate children but also provide measurement strategies to grade children according to his/her abilities. The government needs to evaluate these models to study their usefulness and practicality and adopt those it considers are relevant, logical and complete.
It is clear from the above assertation that the intervention of Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Literacy does have a beneficial effect not only in academic life but also life in general. Although, the concept may be relatively new, there is substantial evidence to show that Emotional Literacy can and must be integrated into the school curriculum because it makes a beneficial impact in our lives.
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Trinidad, D.R. And Johnson, C.A. 2002. The Association between Emotional Intelligence and Early Adolescent Tobacco and Alcohol Use. Personality and Individual Differences,…