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Emotional intelligence and education

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This paper explores the re-emergence of two understandings in relation to a current perspective on the nature of emotional intelligence. The first understanding is dualist in character, seeing the emotions as internal events subject to introspection. The second sees the emotions as sources of energy or tension that can be relieved in the process of articulation, in other words a kind of therapeutic dimension in a 'confessional' context. These two understandings together form the perspective that may be referred to as the 'introspective/confessional' hypothesis. Some of the traditional philosophical problems with this hypothesis are revisited and an alternative perspective of the emotions is offered. This alternative perspective sees our emotional lives as developing within a social and cultural context, as essentially public and open to objectification, what might be termed an 'objectivist/constructivist' hypothesis. Both hypotheses form the basis for discussion of our concept of emotional education. The conclusion is that the latter is a more practical and appropriate understanding for the purposes of education.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Education, Canterbury Christ Church University College, Canterbury, CT1 1QU, UK. [email protected]

Publication date: 01 December 2003

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