What if we taught emotional literacy?

September 15, 2011

After the riots in England earlier this month, emotions and education have loomed large in resulting social commentaries.  One chief constable, Chris Sims of the West Midlands police, said of the Birmingham rioters that they were “not an angry crowd, but a greedy crowd”. Whether the problem is supposed to be greed or anger, or indeed despair, selfishness, rage, envy, ennui, or mindless criminality, it would seem that emotions are at the heart of this new social disorder. And, for many, it is education that can provide the cure.

Fascinating post over on the history of emotions blog by Thomas Dixon in which he suggests that the recent riots in the UK might be the opportunity to bring emotional literacy into the classroom.  He also links to his report Feeling Differently which describes his work in the classroom and the outcomes generated by the project.  I particularly liked his comment about discussion Charles Darwin and romantic love with a group of 7 year olds…I wonder what that conversation looked like!  It’s a fascinating report about a much needed intervention.

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