Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Effects of an Emotional Education Program on the Emotional Skills of Six-Year-Old Children Attending Preschool*

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Effects of an Emotional Education Program on the Emotional Skills of Six-Year-Old Children Attending Preschool*

Article excerpt

Abstract

The aim of this study is to examine the effects of an Emotional Education Program, which is based on the PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategy) developed by Domitrovich, Greenberg, Cortes and Kusche, on six year old children's emotional skills (identification of emotions, understanding emotions and expression of emotions). In this study, pre-test post-test control group design was used. The sample group of the study consists of 64 students, including 32 in the experimental group and 32 in the control group studying in two public schools of the Konya Provincial Directorate of National Education. Data were collected by the Assessment of Children's Emotion Skills (ACES) which was developed by Shultz and Izard and adopted into Turkish by Durmusoglu Saltali, Deniz, Çeliköz, and Ari. In order to analyze the data, dependent and independent groups t-tests were used. Results show that the Emotional Teaching Program increased children's emotional skills at a significant level and have permanent effects on children's emotional skills.

Key Words

Emotional Skills, Identifying Emotions, Understanding emotions, Expressing Emotions, Emotion Teaching Program.

Recent studies in pre-school education and psychology draw attention to the vital importance of the development of emotional skills in child development (Trentacosta, Izard, Carrol & Fine, 2006). These studies point out the importance of emotional skills in healthy configuration of child's social relations and behaviors and suggest early childhood as the most suitable period to gain such skills. Healthy development can be contributed with supportive educational mediums provided in this period of time and also with the regulations in domestic relationships (Gottman, Katz & Hooven, 1996). Child gains and develops important emotional skills if necessary supportive education is provided in pre-school education institutions. For example, child starts understanding emotions that he experiences, understanding emotional clues, and starts realizing the effects of his way of expressing emotions on reactions he will receive from other people (Shields, Dickstein, Seifer, Guisti, Magee & Spritz, 2001). The development of emotional skills has various effects in the following years on children's adaptation to school, peer relationships, and academic success. The lack of emotional skills has an important role especially in the basic behavioral problems encountered during first and mid childhood period (Cichetti, Ganiban & Barnett, 1991; Denham, 1998). Moreover, during the preschool period children have limited vocabulary knowledge so, emotions become important social signs for them. Therefore, educators should be aware of how much importance the development of emotional skills regarding emotions that have an important place in expressing the behaviors shown by children and their way of self-expression and they should give place to the emotion developing activities in their educational programs (Havighurst, Harley & Prior, 2004).

Saarni (1999) categorized emotional skills into eight dimensions; ability to recognize his own emotional state and others' emotions; expressing his emotions in an appropriate way according to the culture he is living in; forming a relationship with social rules and emotions, involving others emotions emphatically and sympathetically, understanding that there might be inconsistency between intrinsic and extrinsic emotions of himself and others, ability to cope with unpleasant emotions with control strategies, understanding how emotions effect relationships, accepting his emotions and pleased with his emotions, and Saarni stated that most of these dimensions are acquired during early childhood period. Developments of emotional skills start with birth at home. Parents have important roles in child's emotional skills development. Parent-child relationship and modeling of the parents have an important role in child's emotional skills development (Ramsden & Hubbard, 2002). …

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