Using a Theory of Emotional Intelligence to Teach Basic Writers at a Two-Year College
Dardello, Andrea Deliece
Logan, Shirley W
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Emotional intelligence scholars such as Daniel Goleman, Reuven Bar-On, John Mayer, David Caruso, and Peter Salovey have all claimed that cognitive ability alone is insufficient to determine an individual's success. Each has pointed to emotional intelligence as a skill needed to obtain one's life goals. The Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT), the only ability-based test of emotional intelligence developed by John Mayer, Peter Salovey, and David Caruso, was used to teach basic writers at Howard Community College to recognize, understand, use, and manage emotions to determine if being taught emotional intelligence skills in a fifteen-week semester would improve students' emotional intelligence skills and their success in the course. Students also kept emotional intelligence journals wherein they recorded their emotions during six stages of the writing process, including brainstorming, developing a thesis, developing an outline, writing the first draft, receiving feedback, and revision. Using Alice Brand's glossary of positive and negative emotional vocabulary for writers, students identified emotions that aided and stifled their writing process. Although this study did not find that teaching emotional intelligence skills in a fifteen-week semester significantly increased student's emotional intelligence as determined by the MSCEIT, it did find a relationship between students' emotional intelligence score, students' writing skills and their success in the course. Students' reported emotions throughout the course contribute to a success-oriented pedagogy for basic writers.