The Importance of Emotional Education in the Classroom

August 15, 2019
It's important to continue to find ways to integrate emotional education into the classroom. In this article, we'll look at the reasons why emotional education should be a part of school curricula.

They say that social and emotional skills are indicators of a person’s ability to adapt to their surroundings and to change. They also say that emotional skills are a good indicator of success in the future. For these reasons, we’re going to see why it’s important to integrate emotional education in the classroom.

Basic developmental skills like sociability, emotional stability, sympathy, and awareness can be just as important as cognitive intelligence, maybe even more so – especially in terms of what a person will dedicate themselves to in the future.

It can seem difficult for educators to find effective ways to prioritize emotional and social skills. It’s hard to know how to teach these abilities or how to evaluate them. However, it’s important to remember that teaching emotional skills isn’t just a passing fad. We have to learn to pay better attention to emotions and treat them as another priority in the classroom.

General education should always teach children social skills and include strategies to transmit important lessons regarding our emotions. We shouldn’t need reminding that emotions are a part of our lives in every moment, 24 hours a day. Children will continue to have to deal with emotions throughout their lives. They need to know how to manage them.

Emotional education contributes directly to the success and happiness the child will encounter as an adult. Moreover, for many children, school is the only place where they can address any deficiencies in these areas. They may come from troubled families or they may lack certain resources at home.

The Importance of Emotional Education in the Classroom

Combining emotional education and academic development

Learning experiences can combine emotional abilities and academic development. This will improve the quality of the learning environment overall.

Students will learn to be more effective in their present classes and when they enter the workforce as adults. Better emotional control and awareness will also help improve the society of tomorrow.

Studies about emotional education in the classroom

In Ready to Lead, a report produced by an organization called the Collaborative for Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning (CASEL) in the United States, the researchers presented the results of their survey regarding emotional and social intelligence.

They found that emotional intelligence helps to prepare children and it can transform schools. There’s ample data to support the importance of developing emotional education in the classroom, especially in conjunction with academic development.

The report also cites a meta-analysis from 2011 where it’s shown that students who work on their emotional education in the classroom have better levels of academic performance. Their academic work is 11 percentage points higher than those who don’t receive any education geared to their emotions.

Furthermore, the report shares findings regarding advances made in neuroscience that show how working on emotional intelligence in childhood is fundamental to lifelong emotional health and coping abilities.

The Importance of Emotional Education in the Classroom

“Working on emotional intelligence in childhood education can have academic benefits in the long run. Benefits like improvements in reading capacity and vocabulary acquisition.”

How do teachers feel about working on emotional education in the classroom?

According to the CASEL report, the interest in developing emotional intelligence is high among school teachers and administrators. The directors, specifically, seem to show a lot of interest in developing methods for teaching emotional intelligence.

When will it become a priority?

Although the large majority of interested parties in education are in agreement that emotional education is important, they tend to be on the margins. Educators, normally, show more interest in the purely academic than the overall development of the child.

It could just be a question of time before emotional education is widely adopted. Hopefully, in the near future, we’ll find more and more acceptance and integration of this approach in schools.

The advances that have been made in this area of education will gradually change pedagogical approaches more widely. It’s a long and slow process, but one that’s very necessary.

  • Jennifer L. DePaoli, Matthew N. Atwell, John Bridgeland. (2017).Ready to Lead. CASEL.
  • Belfield, C., Bowden, B., Klapp, A., Levin, H., Shand, R., & Zander, S. (2015). The Economic Value of Social and Emotional Learning. New York: Columbia University.
  • Oleksandr S. Chernyshenko, Miloš Kankaraš, Fritz Drasgow. (2018).  Social and Emotional SkillsWell-being, connectedness and success. OECD.