Weaving EQ into a crowded curriculum
Knowing that time can be limited for EQ education, Elias and Tobias offered guidance on which skills to cover first. If EQ is part of a year-long curriculum, teachers should cover all three skill areas. If there are 21 or more EQ sessions, teachers should start with skill area one and then choose either skill area two or three for follow up.
If your school cannot accommodate numerous sessions, it is best to concentrate on skill area one. The key is to provide students with enough opportunities to internalize the lessons. In addition to providing homework for the EQ curriculum, teachers need to communicate with their colleagues so that the other educators encourage the students to use their new skills.
Finally, Elias and Tobias stressed the importance of looking at individual student improvement rather than relying on a standardized EQ assessment. “The best thing you can do is to monitor what you are teaching. The things we are talking about are not really complicated to monitor,” said Elias. “Conversations [with your colleagues] and those indicators that you can create based on the specifics that you are doing are going to be far more useful to you than a scale that was created—it might be reliable or valid—but it’s not focusing on the specific skills that you are working on.”
About the Presenters
Maurice J. Elias, Ph.D., is a professor and former director of clinical training in the Department of Psychology at Rutgers University. He is also director of the Rutgers Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab, academic director of the Collaborative Center for Community-Based Research and Service, and founding member of the Leadership Team for the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). Dr. Elias lectures nationally and internationally and devotes his research and writing to the areas of social-emotional and character development in children, schools, and families. He is a licensed psychologist and writes a blog on social-emotional and character development for the George Lucas Educational Foundation.
Steven E. Tobias, Psy.D., is the director of the Center for Child & Family Development in Morristown, New Jersey. He has more than 30 years of experience working with children, parents, families, and schools. Dr. Tobias feels a strong commitment to children’s social and emotional development and provides consultation to schools as a way of reaching many children, including those who are underserved in terms of their social and emotional needs. He has co-authored several books with Dr. Maurice Elias, including Emotionally Intelligent Parenting and Raising Emotionally Intelligent Teenagers. He has given lectures throughout the United States on topics related to parenting and children’s emotional development.
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