THE BIG EQ: Calling on you to help raise every child’s emotional intelligence – and your own!

DEFINITIONS: Emotional Intelligence (EQ): The human capacity to deal in a healthy way with ourselves and others.
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL): Education and practices in this capacity from pre-school through high school. 

“These are life skills any parent would want for a child [and] I think everyone should care about this,
not just parents. I want this for my community.” 

Daniel Goleman, popularizer and best-selling author of “Emotional Intelligence.”

                                               TEN FACTS ABOUT EMPOWERING A CHILD WITH EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE click to see!/close


1. Higher EQ (emotional and social intelligence) is a better activator of quality lives and quality societies than higher IQ.
2. EQ can be learned.
3. Raising EQ often raises IQ with it.
4. Students who experience EQ-raising Social and Emotional Learning and get to practice it in immersive school settings tend to thrive and get a chance to be and experience their best selves.
5. Schools that prioritize implementing SEL into academic studies using best practices see all the good markers go up (engagement in learning, test scores, behavior, healthy emotional states and relationships with others, clarity of thinking, good decision making, creativity, communications skills, empathy, teacher satisfaction) and all the bad markers (violence, bullying, racial bias, drug usage, suicides, acting out behaviors, teacher abuse, mobile addiction) decline. Same for short and long-term social markers like mental health, crime, conflict, racial biases and poverty (Read More).
6. Only about 10% of schools in the country have fully implemented SEL  Why? Because most of the public doesn’t even know it exists. Hence little to no pressure on schools and legislators to get moving on implementing SEL.
7. It’s really dumb (low EQ) not to hasten EQ-raising SEL (great for adults as well) into every area of life, with no better place to start than all the schools.
8. Every parent wants the best for their child and most parents know their child is challenged in some way emotionally and socially. SEL tools, policies and practices were developed to make the shift possible for your child, for you, for your family.
9. Many employers are already providing adult social and emotional skills training for employees. Lots more employers – it’s becoming a wave now – are putting high EQ at the top of their hiring qualities.
10. There are easy ways you can help schools get on the case. See our Guides.    

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Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is the term most widely-used by educators* to describe the processes through which children (and adults) acquire and effectively apply the character-building knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, to set and achieve positive goals, to feel and show empathy for others, to establish and maintain positive relationships, and to make responsible decisions. Students who participate in school cultures that embed SEL practices into all in-classroom and out of classroom activities tend to become remarkable young people who achieve more in schools and throughout their lives, often based more on their expanded emotional and social intelligence than academic knowing. Schools have many evidence-proven trainings to choose from that, properly nested throughout the school culture, in many cases can elevate children and teens  from…

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  • Reactive to responsive
  • Self-centered to self-aware of feelings, thoughts and behaviors
  • Acting out to managing their feelings and behavior
  • Depressed or anxious to happy and enthusiastic
  • Feuds and cliques to building positive relationships
  • Psychological “peer fear” to friendships and mutual support
  • Drifting or confusion to clear thinking and problem solving
  • Dumb stuff to making smart choices for their lives
  • Hostility (including bulllying), avoidance or manipulation to relating to others with empathy, kindness and love
  • Disengaged from school to highly engaged
  • Poor communicators to remarkable communicators
  • Poor, low-functioning work habits to responsible, high-functioning work habits
  • Poor cooperation skills to easily working collaboratively and co-creatively with others
  • Susceptible to peer pressure to self-motivated.
  • Low self-esteem to confident and fulfilled.
  • Freaking out from stress to handling stress in positive ways
  • Negative to positive
  • Lost in themselves to strong in themselves
  • Poor character to admirable colleague and citizen character 

In sum, students attain high EQ (emotional and relationship smarts and skills and a healthy capacity to make the most of life ) – and often surprising increases in IQ along with it. Other noteworthy findings:

  • SEL is most effective in schools that have adopted policies in which the student skills training is preceded by teacher and staff training in the skills, and SEL practices are then nested throughout the school environment, including in all academic classes, other school activities, student community service and with parental buy-in and engagement. This allows students the opportunity to practice the skills throughout their days in and out of school.  
  • Students tend to thrive and teachers widely report they can happily be teachers rather than behavioral monitors as the students show up as engaged learners. 
  • Already high-performing students achieve even more and relate even better.
  • Other short and long-term negative markers of distress also reverse – and not just for the time kids are in school. Long trail studies predict decreases in crime and criminal justice costs across the populace along with lower social costs for welfare, remedial programs and government-aided mental and physical care.  
  • Collective strong SEL also has the potential to elevate society as a whole – in the form of better relationships all around, less conflict, and more productive and healthier individuals, workplaces, institutions, and communities. (In fact, many businesses are implementing adult SEL programs, with Harvard Business School a leader in promoting the cause.)
  • Also predicted are extensive potential benefits to the economy from a far greater-performing and creative workforce, entrepreneurship growth and lower medical costs for employers, with the possibility of lower taxes from savings on many other social costs and on criminal justice/policing. 

For parents – and for all of us – one of the most loving acts we can perform for our kids and all kids, and for society overall, is to implement Social and Emotional Learning in all schools.

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(*Anyone who chooses to go deeper into the subject will find that there are several other terms afloat in the education community for Social and Emotional Learning. Two major ones are Character Development (which can include what are known as Grit practices), and Social, Academic and Emotional Development (SEAD), which is pretty much the same as SEL with an emphasis for public understanding that life skills belong in academic classes, as SEL advocates desire but the term does not make explicit,

(A theme that runs through the movement and is sometimes highlighted is “trauma” transformation – meaning that most poor behavior by children and disengagement from learning results from traumatic child development, which the practices of SEL notably, advocates argue, are successful in transforming.)   

 


Social and Emotional Learning Core “Competencies”

The Collaborative for Social Emotional Learning (CASEL.org), a major institution in the world of advancing children’s emotional intelligence and SEL, has identified five interrelated competencies that embrace the cognitive, emotional and behavioral aspects of a child’s development. These are the competencies that SEL seeks to advance.

Self-awareness: The ability to accurately recognize and identify one’s emotions and thoughts and their influence on behavior. This includes accurate self-perception in assessing one’s strengths and limitations, then learning to maintain or develop a well-grounded sense of confidence and optimism about one’s ability to manage internal factors and to be effective in the world outside oneself.

Self-management: The actual ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations. This includes managing stress, controlling impulses, motivating oneself, and setting and working toward achieving personal and academic goals. It also includes developing organizing skills.

Social awareness: The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures, to understand social and ethical norms for behavior, and to recognize where there are family, school, and community resources and supports. Respect for others is cultivated in the training, as is appreciation of diversity – that Sally is different from DeVon, and that’s a good thing.

Relationship skills: The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. This includes communicating clearly, listening actively, cooperating (good teamwork), resisting inappropriate social pressure (standing strong inside yourself), negotiating conflict constructively, and seeking and offering help when needed. Lots of people argue that many adults need this training in healthy social engagement. SEL advocates argue the learning can carry into adulthood and make a meaningful difference.

Responsible decision making: The ability to make constructive and respectful choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on learning to consider ethical standards, safety concerns, social norms, the well-being of self and others, and to realistically evaluate the consequences of various actions. The teaching can include identifying and solving problems and analyzing situations from a reflective sensibility.

Why the Big Emotional Intelligence (EQ) campaign?

BECAUSE SO FEW PEOPLE KNOW THE GREAT THINGS THAT CAN HAPPEN WHEN SCHOOLS EDUCATE STUDENTS IN SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL MASTERY SKILLS

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AND BECAUSE THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHILDREN BEING LESS THAN THEIR BEST SELVES AND BEING THEIR BEST SELVES, ARE THE SKILLS TO TAKE THEM THERE!

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SO IMPORTANT TO STUDENTS AND SOCIETY IS THIS, THAT WE’RE CONDUCTING A MASS MARKETING CAMPAIGN TO AWAKEN PARENTS AND THE PUBLIC TO THE TREMENDOUS BENEFITS OF MANDATING SEL IN EVERY SCHOOL IN ORDER TO  ELEVATE THE LIFE CAPACITIES AND PROSPECTS OF THE ENTIRE CURRENT GENERATION OF YOUTH – AND ALL THE ONES AFTER THEM.

“I am happy to endorse the campaign because this is something we’ve needed for a long time.”
–Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

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See for Yourself…

MUST WATCH THIS ONE FIRST! 

Interview with Daniel Goleman

SEE MORE VIDEOS and check out “The Heart-Brain Connection” video below in the section Explaining EQ and Social and Emotional Learning

SEE AND FEEL FOR YOURSELF THE POWER OF SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING TO DEVELOP IN YOUNG HUMANS THE COMPETENCIES OF SELF-MANAGEMENT, SELF-AWARENESS, RELATIONSHIP SKILLS, SOCIAL AWARENESS, AND RESPONSIBLE DECISION MAKING.

The Big EQ Campaign is a mass public mobilization, advertising and marketing campaign to bring Social and Emotional Learning into every school’s curriculum and culture and thereby upgrade children’s prospects and U.S. schools’ performance dramatically while elevating overall American EQ and societal health.

The Campaign is an independent non-profit organization in alliance with tax-deductible fiscal sponsor Earthways Foundation. It was founded by a group of business leaders who have been involved as social activists in youth development projects for years and is guided by some of the country’s highly knowledgeable leaders in the fields of Social and Emotional Learning and youth development.

In the absence of public knowledge of SEL’s extraordinary benefits, and therefore parent and public support, comprehensive, well-integrated, evidence-based SEL programs, practices and policies have been adopted by only a small percentage of American schools.

This is so even though SEL is likely the best and cheapest overall tool for education progress while transforming the fundamental ways of thinking and being that lead to many long-term mental and physical problems, social injustice, structural poverty, racial and class bias, crime, violence and other anti-social and unloving behaviors.

In fact, we are happy to make the case that no mission out there is more important to the long-term public good than elevating the human capacity to deal in a healthy way with ourselves and others. No facet of human life, no challenges we face, will go untouched by such progress.

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There are dozens of companies and institutions offering to schools evidence-based programs designed to advance social and emotional learning. There are hundreds of other non-tested programs offered to schools and parents that range from comprehensive skills training, to helpful if partial after-school training, to online interactions to meditation.

Primarily created by child-development experts, educators, and university-based academics, these programs offer a range of materials and curricula to suit many different school contexts. Overall, they seek to catalyze a universe of schools that are supportive, joyful learning environments dedicated to helping what educators call “the whole child” to succeed.

Read about the programs below:

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Research in neuroscience has proven that the brain has “plasticity,” meaning it can grow new synapses through repetition. Research has also identified that different areas of the brain control various functions. As a crucial example, severe negative emotional reactions are located and stimulated in one part of the brain while patience, elevated comprehension, empathy and understanding are functions of other areas of the brain.

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Parents certainly and almost everyone else can play a role in bringing Social and Emotional Learning into all schools – and therefore over time bring the benefits and awareness into adult daily life. You can:

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  • Learn about SEL on this site and share widely. 
  • Donate to our spread-the-word media campaign.
  • Say Yes to SEL publicly by allowing us to list your name as an SEL Endorser. 
  • Ask us for the free bumper sticker: “I Support Social and Emotional Learning in all Schools!”
  • Contact local school officials and request full-scale SEL. Go to our Advocacy Guide to see guides to how best to do this. and contact us if you need help. 
  • Ask your employer to put the statement “To give all children a chance to be their best self, we support Social and Emotional Learning in all schools!” on all marketing materials.
  • Contact legislators and public officials to get behind SEL. Educate them if needed..
  • Check out the helpful detailed guidance in the Parents Toolkit, Teachers. Students, Administrators and Businesses tabs. 
  • Become an SEL Ambassador, a role open to everyone including those listed above. Go to our Advocacy Guide and see Ambassador tab.
  • For Businesses and organizations: Put the statement “To give all children a chance to be their best self, we support Social and Emotional Learning in all schools!” wherever customers or followers might see it. Go to our Advocacy Guide and see the Business tab.
  • For Businesses: Sponsor or run our Big EQ ads to the public. Again, go to our Advocacy Guide and see tab.

If ever a good cause deserved massive public support, comprehensive, properly implemented Social and Emotional Learning in all schools curriculum and culture would be a candidate. Its dual upsides – the wonderful immediate one for schools and kids and the spin-off positive societal upgrade – are unmatchable, with virtually no known downside.

Ideally, you will find an easy way to help move this lovely transformation along from pre-SEL (and low EQ) to SEL splendor everywhere (and high EQ). 

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The Big EQ Campaign, while being a fully independent non-profit organization, has been cultivating collaboration with and allies from the broader education, business and civic communities. We seek mutually supportive alliances with parent organizations, with business associations and individual businesses, with national and community organizations concerned with healthy child and economic development, and with public figures and influencers. We also have launched an Endorsers campaign.

Click “Read More” and, if inspired to ally or support, please Contact Us.

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In sum, SEL is a potential epic game changer for education, for human society, and for quality lives. Given this reality and the existence of strong SEL programs and practices, the obvious question is:

Wouldn’t it be a gigantic – and sorely needed – individual and social good for every individual to experience such learning? 

The simple answer is: YES, IT ABSOLUTELY WOULD BE!  And now one that is doable.

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