Educating with emotional intelligence at school

Educating with emotional intelligence is an indispensable requirement nowadays. During our formative years, we also acquire the necessary skills to understand, use and demonstrate our emotions and those of others. At Moralzarzal School we include emotional education from the very first years of school, so our pupils have the necessary training in the control of their own emotions.

What is emotional intelligence?

Before analysing the principles for educating with emotional intelligence, it is important to define this concept.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage and put into practice the emotional level. Skills such as empathy, self-control or assertiveness are fundamental throughout our lives, and knowing how to identify and manage them in a practical way is a process that is learned during the first years of our lives.

The basics of emotional learning at school

Emotional learning is an ongoing process. During adulthood we continue to learn every day how to manage our emotions in different circumstances, however, education in emotional intelligence is very important during the academic years. 

Our experience has shown us that educating with emotional intelligence is important, and it is based on the following principles. 

  • It is important to encourage self-discipline and self-control. These two concepts will be fundamental in order to put other values into practice in the right way. 
  • Active listening is basic to emotional learning. Teachers must assimilate what students feel about their own emotions. 
  • Emotions have names. From the first years of school, pupils should learn to identify and name the most common emotions. 
  • A child should learn that the same situations can provoke different emotions. In this sense, learning empathy is essential. 
  • It is also appropriate to create a favourable environment for the expression of all kinds of emotions. Students should perceive the classroom as a space where they can express themselves freely. 
  • Motivation and assertiveness are also two concepts that should be managed in order to encourage emotional expression. 
  • Dealing with frustration is also included in emotional education. Throughout their lives they will face various situations that will cause them to feel frustrated, and it is important that they know how to manage their emotions in these cases. 
  • Controlling anger and overreactions is also important at this stage.
  • Finally, educating with emotional intelligence means generating positive emotions; we must encourage this type of attitude. 

The importance of family participation

In all aspects of education, the participation of families is important, however, in emotional education it is especially important that the family environment is actively involved.

We have previously established the basic points for emotional education, it is important that at home there is also a favourable climate for the expression of feelings, that listening is active and that we insist on the implementation of positive values.   

If the environment is not suitable, we will encourage behaviour in which emotions are repressed or expressed inappropriately. It is essential for a pupil in infant, primary or secondary school to have a suitable family environment in which he or she can recognise his or her emotions, and put them into practice in an appropriate way. 

Emotional intelligence and social skills   

Social skills are a concept closely linked to emotional intelligence. We can define social skills as the ability to apply certain behaviours in society.         

On a daily basis, we put into practice a series of behaviours that allow us to relate to other people, also taking into account a given context. Through emotional intelligence we are able to interpret other people’s emotions and also to emit appropriate emotional responses.  

Issues such as listening, self-control or empathy are essential and are given to us by the learning process of emotional intelligence. Social skills are learnt from the earliest stages of our lives, in fact, the relationships we establish at school will be the basis of our future behaviour.

Fontenebro International School, emotional education and training in values

At Fontenebro International School we are based on an educational programme that incorporates emotional education and training in values from the first school years. 

Obviously, it is important for our pupils to acquire a series of technical skills, starting with language learning, as well as the necessary training to continue progressing in their academic training, but we also insist on the importance of assimilating values, which are put into practice on a daily basis through emotional intelligence. 

In our classrooms there is always room to grow in values. In collaboration with Botín Foundation, we promote the emotional development of our students, as well as communication and coexistence at all levels. Our objective is based on helping students to trust in themselves and to acquire a high level of confidence in their decisions.