Emotional Intelligence (EI) is about intelligent use of our emotions. This requires being aware of our feelings and the feelings of others in order to manage our behaviour and relationships effectively. An emotionally intelligent person is the one who can identify, label and manage his emotions thereby exhibiting appropriate behaviour. He learns to live with his emotions as well as release them properly. Historically speaking, the term emotional intelligence was introduced in 1990 by two American university professors Dr. John Mayer and Dr. Peter Salovey in their attempt to develop a scientific measure for knowing the differences between people’s ability in the areas of emotions. However the credit for popularizing the concept of emotional intelligence goes to another American psychologist Daniel Goleman through his book Emotional intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, published in 1995. The book begins with the insight that people who have high IQ can nevertheless fail – at school, at work, and in relationships. Goleman’s idea is that success in life depends just as much on abilities like self-awareness, self-control, and empathy, which are rooted in the “emotional brain”. The major thesis of his book can be summarized by stating that we need a new vision of the study of human intelligence beyond the cognitive and intellectual aspects, a vision that would highlight the importance of the use and management of the social emotional world to understand the course of people’s lifetimes. Emotional intelligence in aspiring teachers could be just as important a skill as academic knowledge and knowledge about the methodology. Singh (2006, p.138) claimed that the teaching profession requires emotional competencies such as rapport, harmony and comfort while dealing with groups.
A teacher with high IQ may not necessarily be high in these emotional competencies. Teachers with high EQ seem to exhibit open and free expression of ideas that lead them to creativity and mutual respect. The fact that teaching is a stressful job is well documented. Each phase of the teaching career brings its own level of stress. Student-teachers do not have the benefit of years of experience to help them deal with day-to-day classroom issues. Thus, they are likely to face achievement stress while dealing with various situations.
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