Onward and Upwards: Empower

In November of 2016 Time Magazine published an article entitled "Anxiety, Depression, and the Modern Adolescent." The article starts by describing the youth as “…the post-9/11 generation, raised in an era of economic and national insecurity. They’ve never known a time when terrorism and school shootings weren’t the norm. They grew up watching their parents weather a severe recession, and, perhaps most important, they hit puberty at a time when technology and social media were transforming society.”

Onward and Upwards: Educate

The Future of Employment

In 2013, there was a study done by Oxford University that found that 47% of jobs in the U.S. will be threatened by automation in the next 20 years. This change was inevitable seeing how much computer technology has progressed. Jobs that literally only humans were able to do can now be programmed in computer software and performed by computers. 

The obvious example of that change is in industries like manufacturing where robots are replacing human workers, and in the future self driving cars and trucks. But in the next 20 years, jobs traditionally categorized as knowledge work will soon be taken over by computers. In the wake of such a shift led by competing, there is an opportunity to build new skills in order to differentiate ourselves and thrive in the future to come. 

The Future of Skills

Two psychology professors, John D. Mayer of UNH and Peter Salovey of Yale first coined the term emotional intelligence in 1990 and defined it this way in an article for Harvard Business Review:

"Emotional intelligence is the ability to accurately perceive your own and others’ emotions; to understand the signals that emotions send about relationships; and to manage your own and others’ emotions."

In 1998, Rutgers psychologist Daniel Goleman connected the importance of emotional intelligence to business in this way: 

"The most effective leaders are all alike in one crucial way: they all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence. It’s not that IQ and technical skills are irrelevant. They do matter, but…they are the entry-level requirements for executive positions. My research, along with other recent studies, clearly shows that emotional intelligence is the sine qua non of leadership. Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won’t make a great leader."

As we talked about in our presentation last week, there were five components that Goleman set forth in his book that make up emotional intelligence. 

  1. Self-awareness: being able to understands one’s abilities, identify how they think and make decisions, and present oneself in a coherent and authentic way.
  2. Self-regulation: being able to control emotions and abilities that you’ve identified within yourself.
  3. Motivation: a passion for work that goes beyond money and status
  4. Empathy: there are three distinct kinds of empathy: the ability to understand another person’s perspective, the ability to feel what someone else feels, and the ability to sense what the other person need.
  5. Social skills: being able to collaborate, network, and build trust with people.

Learning for the Future

Is emotional intelligence something that could be taught? How can one learn these skills? This is the central question that many progressive educators are asking and seeking ways to incorporate into schools today. Here at KAYF we are trying to fill that gap and do that in our WAFL program through the Eruda Framework. 

Emotional intelligence is so hard to teach because it has to do with psychological developments that are created over an entire lifetime. Learning and deploying these tasks have a lot more to do with creating experiences for them to grow rather than teaching them in the traditional way. The Eruda framework and four year program we are developing is the platform we want to use to create these experiences. 

We wanted to end this first series by sharing with you a video about why kids say they’re bored at school, or why they stop trying when the work gets harder. It is an video that approaches this idea of emotional intelligence in an interesting way. 

RSA ANIMATE: How To Help Every Child Fulfil Their Potential