Education might have started off as holistic and complete but nowadays it has been reduced to a skeleton of its former self. Some might still treat it as an institutionalized form of learning, but most just see it as an arduous regime to get a piece of paper that ensures a livelihood. The crux of the matter is, education, like most things, is in essence, a device of propaganda. Worse, it is seen as something utterly necessary for a prosperous life hence, is the most potent form of propaganda for young minds. “Each child is required to learn an accepted version of reality in order to fit into the specific mould desired by the elite. Just like television, a large part of school is simply programming, and we don’t really learn much about the world or ourselves.”
Rote memorization and a no-questioning policy is what is the norm of the day. Children are continually turned into automatons for the machine that is society. They aren’t really educated any more than being turned into better consumers who conform to rules.
Sir Ken Robinson best sums up the condition of the education system.
He opines that “it was designed and conceived for a different age. Today, new information and discoveries are constantly emerging in all fields, questioning what we once thought we knew, and that includes how people learn.”
Unfortunately, unless one has a teacher who is passionate about the world around and new information, children will suffer in this system.
Interestingly, if we look into the education system in America, it was a direct result of Rockefeller’s establishing the General board of education. Prior to that, education was largely a private endeavor. And considering the amount of money the GB donated towards education, is it really surprising that modern public education is largely consumerist?
The treatment of emotions in school curricula
Now school education has continuously been about taking in information as fact, without questioning. Emotions, for example, are rarely treated as important in education. There is rarely any life lesson that a child takes back from school.
Thomas Scheff, an advocate of emotional education from the University of California, opines how we are taught to see emotions and sentiments as distractions and indulgences.
“Just as dangerous,” Scheff said, “is the practice of hiding one emotion behind another.” He has found that “men, in particular, tend to hide feelings of shame under anger, aggression and, far too often, violence.”
A number of issues in life arise from this inability to address our emotional needs. This is because we aren’t really taught to do so.
How to start doing it right?
The good thing about teaching emotions is, they can be implemented into any class and any grade. For example, if you were trying to teach emotions in a class with a number of kids who are about to graduate high school, a great starting point might be to illustrate just how much of an effect emotions can have, not just on a mental level, where unresolved emotions lead to negative action, but on a physical level as well.
An internationally recognized non-profit research and education organization, the Institute of HeartMath dedicate itself to helping people reduce stress, self-regulate emotions, and build energy and resilience for healthy, happy lives.
As HeartMath Director of Research, Dr. Rolin McCratey tells us, “By learning to shift our emotions, we are changing the information coded into the magnetic fields that are radiated by the heart, and that can impact those around us. We are fundamentally and deeply connected with each other and the planet itself.”
All such papers are available online.
One the most popular programs to begin teaching emotions was developed in 2005 by Marc Brackett, David Caruso, and Robin Stern of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.
It’s called RULER.
“The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence uses the power of emotions to create a more effective and compassionate society. The Center conducts research and teaches people of all ages how to develop their emotional intelligence.”
It’s currently being used in more than 1,000 schools in the U.S., implemented for grades k-8.
The name, RULER, is an acronym for its five goals: recognizing emotions in oneself and others; understanding the causes and consequences of emotions; labeling emotional experiences with an accurate and diverse vocabulary, and expressing and regulating emotions in ways that promote growth.
RULER The Method
RULER teachers kids to concentrate on the essential theme of an emotion they are experiencing rather than wasting energy trying to define it.
Contemplating an emotion is just as important in the RULER program.
Grace Rubenstein says:
“RULER’s lessons are woven into all classes and subjects. So, for example, if “elated’ is the emotional vocabulary word under discussion, a teacher would ask students in an American history class to link “elated” to the voyage of Lewis and Clark.
Instruction reaches beyond the classroom, too; kids are prompted to talk with their parents or caregivers about when they last felt elated. Researchers at the Yale Centre for Emotional Intelligence has found RULER schools tend to see less-frequent bullying, lower anxiety and depression, more student leadership and higher grades. So why isn’t emotional education the norm rather than the exception?”
Emotions may be things that seem to be out of our control, but by including such inclusive education in school curricula, we might ensure the emotional stability of our future generations.