10 February 2014
Resilience, self-control, character - attributes that children acquire naturally or should they be taught in schools?
According to a report in The Independent, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt believes that so-called ‘soft skills’ can and should be learned by children in the classroom.
It’s a view that’s underpinned by research from Cambridge Assessment, published in the journal Educational Studies. Cambridge researchers found that some aspects of emotional intelligence such as self-motivation can lead to higher attainment at GCSE.
Our researchers concluded: “emotional intelligence has a very important effect on learning. Therefore, attempts to improve the emotional and social skills of British schoolchildren with training programmes could be worthwhile”.
Cambridge Assessment also held a key debate on this subject in 2009, publishing two conference papers.
Mr Hunt is quoted in The Independent as saying: “Of course, it’s important that we concentrate on improving literacy and numeracy, but the point is that you can improve your chances of success if you look to a child’s emotional well-being as well”.
“These are very hard-edged skills young people need to gain. The teaching of resilience and self-control and character is more and more important to develop.”
Full details of the Cambridge Assessment research are available here.