08/26/05 - emotional intelligence

In today's excerpt - the types of intelligence that are beyond the three R's, which schools traditionally focus on:

"To the casual observer, four-year-old Judy might seem like a wallflower among her more gregarious playmates. She hangs back from the action at playtime, staying on the margins of the game rather than plunging into the center. But Judy is actually a keen observer of the social politics of her preschool classroom, perhaps the most sophisticated of her playmates in her insights into the tides of feelings within the others.

"Her sophistication is not apparent until Judy's teacher gathers the four-year-olds around to play what they call the Classroom Game. The Classroom Game—a dollhouse replica of Judy's own preschool classroom, with stick figures who have for heads small photos of the students and teachers—is a test of social perceptiveness. When Judy's teacher asks her to put each girl and boy in the part of the room they like to play in most—the art corner, the blocks corner, and so on - Judy does so with complete accuracy. And when asked to put each boy and girl with the children they like to play with most, Judy shows she can match best friends for the entire class.

"Judy's accuracy reveals she has a perfect social map of her class, a level of perceptiveness exceptional for a four-year-old. These are the skills that, in later life, might allow Judy to blossom into a star in any of the fields where 'people skills' count, from sales and management to diplomacy ... (but is not identified and developed in) the narrow band of word-and-number skills that schools traditionally focus on."


Daniel Goleman


Emotional Intelligence


Bantam Books


Copyright 1995 by Daniel Goleman


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