A world-renowned professor from the United States gave a presentation to Girton Grammar School students about the importance of emotional intelligence.
Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence Professor Marc Brackett has been working closely with the school which has adopted the RULER program.
“RULER is an approach to social and emotional learning that was born at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence,” Professor Brackett said.
“It has a long history, but over the last 10 years it has become widely recognised.”
RULER stands for Recognising, Understanding, Labelling, Expressing and Regulating emotions.
The RULER approach focuses on the basis that individual emotions affect the learning process, decision making, how we treat others and personal wellbeing.
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Professor Brackett’s work in Bendigo involves adopting the model for school children.
However, it can be adopted at all age levels.
“We argue that emotional intelligence is important for every age group,” Professor Brackett said.
“From preschoolers all the way up to CEOs of companies.
“You will never be without your feelings and whether you are sitting in a boardroom meeting and you are triggered by someone or a preschooler missing your mum or dad, these skills are always going to be useful.”
Throughout his speech he engaged students with self-reflection activities which focused on regulating emotions, the importance of relationship development, learning and social skills.
The take home message of the presentation was ‘My Regulation=My Reputation’ which highlighted the importance of how the students portrayed themselves to other people throughout their life.
Girton Grammar head of emotional intelligence Paul Flanagan said they’ve had an ongoing relationship with Professor Brackett for over seven years.
“Initially we met Professor Brackett through doing work with Yale University and I was fortunate enough to bring it back to Bendigo [RULER] and roll it out at Girton Grammar,” Mr Flanagan said.
“He puts our work that we’re currently doing within the top two schools in the world in the field of emotional intelligence which we are very proud of.
“He is an absolute inspiration and a world leader.”
Girton Grammar headmaster Matthew Maruff said since RULER had been introduced students seemed to have improved their understanding, labelling and management of emotions.
“For us, adopting the RULER approach is as much about student wellbeing as it is about academic achievement because one thing usually leads to another,” Mr Maruff said.
“My observations over the last seven years is that RULER teaches students how to respond to life, that life is not always fair and that it’s not always someone’s fault when we don’t get what we want.”
Girton Grammar is the first school in Australia to adopt the RULER approach to emotional intelligence.