Emotional Intelligence Helps Students Excel in School, Study Finds

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. conscientious / ˌkɒn ʃiˈɛn ʃəs / (adj) – careful about doing something correctly

    She’s a very conscientious journalist who makes sure that all her facts are correct.

  2. hold true / hoʊld tru / (idiom) – to still be valid or correct in a different situation or circumstance

    I’m older now, but my dad’s teachings when I was a child still hold true.

  3. widespread / ˈwaɪdˈsprɛd / (adj) – occurring in many places or among many people

    The university’s new campaign aims for widespread awareness of climate change.

  4. target / ˈtɑr gɪt / (v) – to direct a message or action to someone or something in particular

    This news article material targets reading comprehension skills.

  5. stigmatize / ˈstɪg məˌtaɪz / (v) – to describe something in a very negative and unfair way

    It is wrong to stigmatize people with mental health issues.


Read the text below.

A study has reported that students who can understand and manage their emotions perform well in school.

In addition to having high intellect and being conscientious, new research from the American Psychological Association found that emotional intelligence also contributes to academic success.  An analysis of over 160 studies showed that students with higher emotional intelligence tend to get better grades and higher achievement test scores. The studies reviewed were dated from 1998 to 2019 and involved 42,000 students from several countries.

The levels of the participants ranged from elementary school to college. The researchers found that the result held true regardless of the students’ age.

According to Carolyn McCann, the study’s lead author, students with higher emotional intelligence may be better at dealing with negative emotions, such as anxiety, boredom, and disappointment. These emotions can negatively affect academic performance.

Additionally, students with high emotional intelligence may have skills like being able to understand human motivation and emotion. These skills may help them excel in subjects like history and language.

The findings imply that improving emotional intelligence can help students cope with stress and improve academically. However, McCann does not recommend widespread testing to identify students with low emotional intelligence. She said that targeting only those students may stigmatize them. Instead, she recommends creating programs that are beneficial for all students and training that can improve the well-being and emotional skills of teachers.

Believing that emotional skills development would benefit everyone, McCann also advised integrating it into the curriculum of all schools. She added that letting teachers handle this kind of program is better than hiring external specialists.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you agree that emotional skill development should be included in the curriculum of all schools? Why or why not?
• How do you think students can improve their emotional intelligence or social skills outside a school setting? Discuss.

Discussion B

• What do you think are the things that can demotivate students?
• What are some of the things that can help students stay motivated in school?