An evaluation of the emotional intelligence of secondary school learners from the Somerset East district of the Eastern Cape

Klaasen, Edgar Gerald (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2004-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2004.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The emphasis in South African schools has always been on the development of cognitive abilities of learners. The following two reasons, amongst others, could be responsible for this emphasis: Firstly, the furore over Grade 12 results each year creates the impression that the academic achievement of learners is the ultimate measure of a school's success, and secondly, there is a general belief worldwide that cognitive ability is responsible for a person's success in life. The introduction of emotional intelligence as a field of study more than a decade ago led to new discoveries with regard to factors contributing to success in life. Studies indicated that while cognitive ability played a role in determining life and job success, it was only one of many factors having an influence on success. Many researchers made the conclusion that emotional quotient (EQ) could be as important, or even more important than IQ in determining success in life and the workplace. Consequently, many education authorities worldwide introduced social and emotional learning (SEL) programmes into their school syllabi to enhance the emotional intelligence of their learners. The purpose of this study is to establish whether secondary school learners in the Somerset East district of the Eastern Cape are emotionally intelligent enough to focus on their academic development, cope with life and be successful in the workplace. An empirical study to determine the EQ of 300 secondary school learners from three secondary schools in Somerset East was conducted. Learners completed the self-report questionnaire, the Bar-On EQ-i:YV, to determine their EQ. The results of the study indicated that: • no conclusive evidence could be found to suggest that learners from secondary schools in Somerset East are not emotionally intelligent enough to focus on their academic development • learners are emotionally intelligent enough to cope with life • learners have a need to improve their ability in the realm of interpersonal skills, which could increase their ability to be successful in the workplace. As a result of this research I propose that further studies be conducted to assess the EI of learners and to determine in which realms of EI learners need improvement. Also that SEL programmes be introduced to address specifically those shortcomings in the realms of EI where learners need improvement. It is important that those teachers responsible for developing the EI skills in learners should have the ability to present SEL programmes. Therefore, evaluation of the EI of teachers and development of the EI skills of teachers where necessary, as well as in-service training of teachers to develop their skills to present the SEL programme should take place. This research therefore calls for a greater focus on the development of emotional intelligence of learners, which could lead to improvement of their academic performance, success in coping with life and greater job success.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In Suid-Afrikaanse skole was die klem nog altyd op die ontwikkeling van die kognitiewe vermoëns van leerders. Die volgende twee redes, onder andere, kan verantwoordelik wees hiervoor: Eerstens, die bohaai oor Graad 12 uitslae elke jaar skep die indruk dat akademiese prestasie van leerders die enigste maatstaf is vir 'n skool se sukses, en tweedens, daar is 'n algemene geloof wêreldwyd dat kognitiewe vermoëns verantwoordelik is vir 'n mens se sukses. Die bekendstelling van emosionele intelligensie as 'n studieveld meer as 'n dekade gelede het aan die lig gebring dat ook ander faktore bydra tot sukses in die lewe. Studies het aangetoon dat alhoewel kognitiewe vermoëns 'n rol speel in die bepaling van sukses in 'n persoon se lewe en werk, dit slegs een van 'n reeks faktore is wat 'n invloed het op sukses. 'n Aantal navorsers het tot die gevolg gekom dat emosionele kwosiënt (EQ) net so belangrik of selfs meer belangrik as IK kan wees in die bepaling van sukses in die lewe en die werkplek. Gevolglik het baie opvoedkundige owerhede wêreldwyd sosiale en emosionele leer (SEL) programme by hul sillabusse ingelyf om die emosionele intelligensie van hul leerders te verbeter. Die doel van hierdie studie is om vas te stel of sekondêre skoolleerders in die Somerset- Oos distrik van die Oos-Kaap emosioneel intelligent genoeg is om te fokus op hul akademiese ontwikkeling, opgewasse is vir die lewe en suksesvol kan wees in die werkplek. 'n Empiriese studie om die EQ van 300 sekondêre skoolleerders van drie sekondêre skole in Somerset-Oos te bepaal, was uitgevoer. Om hul EQ te bepaal, het leerders die selfverslag Bar-On EQ-i:YV vraelys voltooi. Die resultaat van die studie toon aan dat: • geen afdoende bewys gevind kon word dat leerders van sekondêre skole in Somerset- Oos nie emosioneel intelligent genoeg is nie, om op hul akademiese ontwikkeling te fokus. • Leerders is emosioneel intelligent genoeg om opgewasse te wees vir die lewe. • Daar is 'n behoefte om leerders se vemoëns met betrekking tot interpersoonlike vaardighede te verbeter, wat kan lei tot 'n verbetering van hul vermoë om suksesvol in die werkplek te wees. Na gelang van hierdie navorsing stel ek voor dat verdere studies gedoen word om die emosionele intelligensie van leerders te bepaal, en sodoende vas te stel in watter areas van emosionele intelligensie leerders ontwikkeling nodig het. Ook dat SEL programme ingestel word om die spesifieke tekortkominge van leerders met betrekking tot die emosionele intelligensie aan te spreek. Dit is verder ook belangrik dat onderwysers wat verantwoordelik is vir die ontwikkeling van EI vaardighede van leerders oor die vermoë moet beskik om SEL programme aan te bied. Daarom is dit nodig dat, waar nodig, evaluering en ontwikkeling van die EI van onderwysers moet plaasvind, sowel as indiens opleiding van onderwysers om hul vaardigheid om SEL programme aan te bied ontwikkel word. Hierdie navorsing vra dus vir 'n groter fokus op die ontwikkeling van die emosionele intelligensie van leerders, wat kan lei tot die verbetering van hul akademiese prestasies, hul beter opgewasse maak vir die lewe, en bydra tot groter sukses in die werkplek.

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