For a long time, humans have often been described by scientists as emotional beings. The major reason behind this description is the scholarly notion that, in most occasions, our needs and wants are normally driven by our emotions. To this regard, our emotions are mostly categorized into two factions: positive and negative emotions. It is based upon these two facets of emotional attachments that humans make most decisions.
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For example, our need to love someone or something is usually based on positive emotions just in the same way feelings of hate towards someone or something is primarily driven by negative emotions.
Having known this, skillful and artistic educators normally use these two sets of emotions to variably orient learning, development or even intelligence, as they wish. Students who are able to master the art of using good and bad emotions are normally regarded as having achieved emotional intelligence.
In most instances, emotionally intelligent students are able to make intelligible decisions regarding their surrounding environment and how they should behave. This, probably, is the reason why they tend to develop in a better way than their counterparts who are less emotionally intelligent.
Additionally, Saarni asserts that emotional intelligence (also known as emotional competence) also orients good self-regulation by both students and their teachers (Salovey & Sluyter, 1997, p.36) Effectually, this self control makes it easy for us to not only focus even in dilemmatic situations.
A good example is given by Saarni of the 6-year old Samuel who was able to act intelligently in spite of being in a tough situation when they were attacked by Fred (p.36-37).
Nevertheless, it is paramount to state that emotional intelligence, and the emotional development that comes thereof, does not equate general wisdom (Salovey & Sluyter, 1997, p.35). By general wisdom, we refer to usual ability of a person to make intelligent decision based on knowledge concerning general things in life.
According to Saarni, both students and teachers can have emotional intelligence even without having wisdom. This is based on the fact that emotional intelligence mostly comes from our environment and how we master the nature of occurrences in it (p.35).
It is based on this fact that Samuel (in spite of being a young boy with no formal education) was able to make an intelligent decision to save his sister (Jessie) and the elderly neighbor taking care of them (Mary) from the destructive activities of Fred (Mary’s son). All that Samuel did was to remember the instructions that had been given to him by her mom on how he should combat such events.
From this example, it is evidently clear that emotional intelligence plays a crucial role in learning and development. As a matter of fact, most children do not have well-formed brains to master all the right and wrong things in life.
However, by simply categorizing such things into the emotional facets of good and bad; they are not only able to understand you easily but they are also able to remember your teachings, when need be.
Similarly, adults also find emotional occurrences quite easy to remember and that is why simple artistic tools like photos, paintings, or even drawings can evoke great deep memories while intermittently orienting development and learning.
For this reason, parents, teachers, governments and other opinion leaders should strive to facilitate the proliferation of emotional intelligence through forums like art and design—which are easily memorable to both learners and their educators.
Saarni, C. “Emotional competence and self-regulation in childhood.” p.35-61. In Salovey, P., & Sluyter, D. J. (1997). Emotional development and emotional intelligence. New York: Basic Books.