As Tom Peters introduces each new chapter in his sequel toInSearch of Excellence, Re-imagine!, he begins by stating, “I imagine,” and then proceeds to challenge us to re-think our approach to our business, armed with the latest in research findings, a litany of personal experiences with companies world-wide, and, as only Peters can, a healthy dose of perturbation that we just don’t get it. In the spirit of his intent,I imagineschools that dedicate as much effort to developing the emotional intelligence, or EQ, of our students as we do toward developing their aptitude or IQ within specialized skill sets to further leverage our career training niche against our more traditional counterparts that just don’t get it.
Why? Most students drop outduring the first 30 to 90 days of their academic career. We need to elevate self-esteem and self-efficacy if we expect them to reach a comfort zone with becoming an everyday student who can see graduation. Students need to be taught how to recognize what it is that they did to cause their own success and then take accountability for it.
By focusing on first on EQ, webecome more effective educators. In order to teach most effectively, it is necessary to understand and differentiate our approach toward teaching from the use of teaching techniques that augment the learning experience.
Teaching is a series of techniques and strategies intended to promote learning. Every teacher uses techniques to teach such as lecture, class discussion, computer-aided instruction, groups or cooperative learning, recitals, demonstrations, experiential learning, or projects. Both learner-centered and teacher-centered teachers may use a combination of all these techniques. The difference between a learner-centered teacher and a teacher-centered teacher is in the determination and implementation of the most appropriate teaching method.
By making this determination,teaching techniques can be used in conjunction with approach to provide consistency in the teaching and learning process. By focusing on EQ first, we put the student at the center of the teaching-learning experience. We not only reap the benefits of teaching the soft skills necessary for success in their career, but we engage the IQ at a much higher level because the student is now “leaning” our direction.