Developing emotional intelligence for sustained student success

Delport, Marthinus (2014-04)

Thesis (MComm)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The dire educational situation in South Africa has urged researchers to investigate possible predictors of academic success. There seems to be an increasing emphasis on non–cognitive factors that might play a role in determining the academic performance of students. In this study various unique challenges first-year students face were underlined, followed by possible key psychological resources needed to overcome such challenges. These resources include self-regulatory skills (i.e. self-leadership and emotional regulation), psychological well-being and constructive self-efficacy beliefs that could all ultimately help determine an individual’s academic success. It was hypothesised that Emotional Intelligence (EI) are central to these psychological resources and play a crucial role in the adaption and performance of first-year students in higher educational institutions. In this study an EI development programme was therefore implemented in order to evaluate whether it is possible to provide students with a powerful resource reservoir (i.e. high EI capabilities) in order to empower them to acquire additional personal and psychological resource (i.e. academic self-leadership, academic self-efficacy and well-being) that are needed to attain academic success. The findings of this study revealed that the EI development programme succeeded in elevating students’ EI, which also led to moderate improvements in their psychological well-being (i.e. less perceived stress), as well as the enhancement of their academic self-leadership (ASL) and academic self-efficacy (ASE) skills and abilities. Institutes of higher education should therefore rethink the emphasis they place on cognitive abilities alone and consider the strategy of also providing opportunities to enhance non-cognitive predictors of academic success. For example, by implementing EI development programmes, such as the one tested in this research, students have a greater chance of developing the necessary self-direction and self-regulation skills necessary to reach academic greatness which, most probably, will also facilitate better employability and career success.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die teleurstellende opvoedkundige situasie in Suid-Afrika het navorsers genoodsaak om moontlike voorspellers aangaande akademiese prestasie te ondersoek. Dit blyk dat daar 'n toenemende klem op nie-kognitiewe faktore geplaas word, wat 'n rol mag speel in die bepaling van die akademiese prestasie van studente. In hierdie studie word verskeie unieke uitdagings wat eerstejaarstudente moontlik in die gesig mag staar geïdentifiseer. Daar word dan ook gekyk na moontlike sleutel sielkundige hulpbronne wat kan help om hierdie uitdagings te oorkom. Hierdie hulpbronne sluit selfregulerende vaardighede (bv. self-leierskap en emosionele regulering), sielkundige welstand en konstruktiewe self-doeltreffendheid in, wat almal uiteindelik ʼn bydrae kan lewer tot ʼn individu se akademiese sukses. Dit was veronderstel dat Emosionele Intelligensie (EI) die kern tot hierdie sielkundige hulpbronne is, en dat dit ʼn beslissende rol in die aanpassing en prestasie van eerstejaarstudente in Hoër Onderwys Instellings speel. In hierdie studie is 'n EI-ontwikkelingsprogram geïmplementeer ten einde te evalueer of dit moontlik is om studente te voorsien met ʼn sterk sielkundige hulpbron basis (bv. hoër EI vermoëns) wat hulle behoort te bemagtig om bykomende persoonlike en sielkundige hulpbronne te verkry (bv. beter self-leierskap, self-doeltreffendheid en sielkundige welstand), wat nodig is vir akademiese vooruitgang. Die bevindinge van hierdie studie het getoon dat die EI-ontwikkelingsprogram daarin geslaag het om studente se EI te verhoog, wat tot gematigde verbetering in hul sielkundige welstand (minder waargenome stres) gelei het, sowel as die verbetering van hul akademiese self-leierskap (ASL) en akademiese self-doeltreffendheid (ASE). Instellings van Hoër Onderwys moet dus die klem wat alleenlik op kognitiewe vermoëns geplaas word opnuut deurdink, en strategieë oorweeg om geleenthede te skep wat nie-kognitiewe voorspellers van akademiese sukses sou verhoog. Deur byvoorbeeld die implementering van ʼn EI ontwikkelingsprogram, soos wat getoets word in hierdie navorsing, te implementeer, sou studente 'n beter kans hê om die nodige self-gerigtheid en selfregulerende vaardighede te bekom, wat nodig is vir akademiese sukses en vordering. Hierdie vaardighede sal waarskynlik ook lei tot beter indiensneembaarheid sowel as loopbaansukses.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86478
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