Should emotions be taught in schools?
I recently came across a really interesting post on Ideas.Ted.com. It discusses whether schools should start teaching emotions as well as other core subjects. You can read it here. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.
Teaching emotions is something that I have been passionate about for a long time. I think it’s really important to learn from an early age what emotions are, how to handle them, and what to do if you don't feel in control of them.
Drama lends itself so well to learning about our own and other people's feelings. At Perform, we spend time acting out different emotions and exploring how body lauguage gives us clues about how people are feeling. We even have a topic which is all about ways to cope if you are feeling angry and upset. So many parents have commented on how valuable this has been for their child.
When you’re young, it is often difficult to comprehend why you are feeling the way that you are. This can sometimes lead to ‘troublesome behaviour’ and understanding your feelings can help you communicate better. Children often find it helpful to know that other people have, or would have, felt the same way if they were in the same situation.
In my opinion, it’s much better for children to develop their own understanding of a situation rather than ‘being told’ what to do. Improvisations and role-play scenarios are brilliant for this. The children are able to see or act out situations and form their own opinions.
Here's something you can try at home with your child that's super easy and fun: choose a simple word, say it’s “Hello”, give them an emotion and ask them to say it in that emotion. Alternatively, you can ask them to choose an emotion and act it out with just their body to see if you can guess what it is.
I'd love to hear what you think about this topic. Are emotions as important as academic subjects?