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article imageThe New Buzz Phrase Hits Schools In The UK, And It's Called - Emotional Intelligence

By Michelle Duffy     Apr 30, 2007 in Lifestyle
UK Comprehensive secondary school pupils are about to get a wake up call - lessons in good manners
The time has come it would seem for many parents' wishes to be answered and not a moment too soon. It was not that long ago that the most teenagers in class would get up to was flicking a rubber off a ruler, trying to aim for the teachers back, yet these innocent Enid Blyton days seemed to be long gone. Now, teachers genuinely fear pupils. If only the behaviour of our children stopped at rubber flicking, then the world wouldn't be such a bad place.
So, the UK have taken it upon themselves to come up with the master plan when it comes to smartening up unruly behaviour in the classroom. No longer can we expect teachers to be as frightening and as menacing as a Pink Floyd record, it is time for the teachers to strike back and give out 'emotion intelligence' lessons.
First on the list of exercises will be the likes of conflict within the pupils consisting of anger management and respecting others. Quite how this will all work, is yet to be understood as so far, it conjures up Boy Scouting in the imagination.
So far, and perhaps quite surprisingly, the project has been favourable in British primary schools, focusing the younger class on how to play fairly. We wonder what actually has happened to out society to take us this far in our development where we now have to teach our children in school such matters. So far, The Department of Education is pleased with the progress - well that's nice to know.
Next on the hit list is the ever so daunting secondary schools, where children can be a little like tying to teach an old dog new tricks. Yet the project known as 'Seal' will be the same as it is for children ten years younger. Primary schools have praised the lessons reporting a vast decrease in violent and abusive behaviour (and these are the under 11's!)
We don't therefore, have to be told about the level of violence and abuse within the classroom today, so this is about as far as our teachers can get to 'arming' themselves against our children. Such a matter was brought up at the Teacher's Union conference this month when it was high on the agenda of many of the union members.
It is all about emotions, and not just the naughty children will get the hang of this, but taught how to deal with other's emotions generally. For example, children will be taught how to deal with bullying or at least, spot someone who is being bullied. The lessons should also give potential bullies a second thought about future bullying when they are given brutal lessons as to how such abuse effects another child.
The 'pilot' scheme has gone down a treat - perhaps not everyone is behaving wonderfully, yet there have been some improvements in these areas. Cumbria in the north west has taken part and has already seen a 'significant impact' on the all round behaviour of the school.
In south west London, my childhood hometown of Wimbledon in fact, has also taken part. They have seen a great difference in everyday disputes. One teacher at the Pelham primary school in Wimbledon, Justine Green says,
"What we're doing in class seems to spill out into the playground. Problems continue to happen, but now the kids are more articulate and better at seeing things from the other person's point of view."
Perhaps this could be the way forward, particularly for the UK, but would it make a vast difference everywhere else? Would it make students stop and think twice about going on a gun rampage around their University, for example?
If they could understand the 'impact' they would have by shooting another student would it make them stop? I doubt it, at least, if we can start with the Primary schools first - it's a good start...
More about Teenagers, Behaviour, Lessons
 
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