Skip to main content

The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Education

Published —

Last month we wrote about Emotional Intelligence (EI) by breaking it down into five main elements. Those five elements were self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. This month we are going to expand on that topic and discuss the importance of emotional intelligence in relation to education. 

In a research paper published by Psychology Today, they noted that emotionally intelligent students tended to get better exam results and better grades. The analysis summarized 1,246 research findings on the link between academic achievement and emotional intelligence. While this analysis established a correlation, more defined research is needed to prove a direct cause and effect relationship. For example, some EI elements showed a greater increase in academic performance than other EI elements. 

One of the most interesting finds was the connection between emotional understanding skills and performance. Students with greater skills in understanding emotions, both in themselves and others, on average had a 12% difference in performance. When you consider that students’ IQ scores account for an average of 15% difference in performance, you can really see how big of an advantage EI skills give. 

Why does it have such an impact? Well first, it can help students cope with anxiety, stress, overwhelm and burnout that are common in education. This ability to cope can also help when faced with failure, a difficult course or an uninteresting class. Second, EI skills help students start, develop and maintain successful relationships with teachers, students and family. Having a strong, reliable network of people is essential for success. It gives students support when they struggle and can encourage them to seek help when they need it. And finally, humanities subjects such as literature or history, require a level of emotion and social knowledge in order to understand universal themes in writing and human motivation. 

While more indepth research is needed to fully comprehend the connection, it is clear that Emotional Intelligence is a vital part of not only the education system, but how we all learn in general. 

Link to research paper mentioned in blog. 

Annalyse Tanzos

Related Articles That Might
Interest You

 Directions and the Neurodivergent Brain

The neurodivergent brain is a beautiful thing full of contradictions and curiosities. Each neurot...


We love to celebrate all types of neurodivergent brains here. One really fun neurotype often seen...

Is it My Fault?

Being a parent is hard. We all want the best for our kids. Let’s be honest, no one wants to hear ...