The Institute for the Development of Emotions
Currently, there is a high demand for El in business, educational institutions, companies, social organizations, and for athletes and individuals. Various types of training, workshops, educational programs for children, adults, parents, and managers have started to address the need to increase the level of emotional intelligence. New faculties at universities and schools are being established to provide education about emotional intelligence.
To address the increasing needs for El in various areas, the Institute for the Development of Emotions (Polish: Instytut Rozwoju Emocji, IRE) in Warsaw was founded in 2016 and is currently conducting a number of projects in El, particularly in the educational settings. The IRE created a program (the Land of Emotions) for El development in preschool and kindergarten children, which focuses on the emotional and social development of young children and involves teachers and parents. The preschool program engages children in El lessons and skills development in every classroom on a daily basis. The program utilizes the “Mood Meter” tool that was developed at Yale University for the RULER social literacy curriculum (Brackett, Rivers, Reyes, & Salovey, 2012). This tool organizes emotions into a four-quadrant map of high/low energy and positive/negative valence and is useful in teaching the emotion vocabulary. Children are assessed and monitored regularly for particular identification of problems in emotional development. Teachers and parents receive regular workshop training in order to develop their own levels of El that in turn contribute to the emotional environment of the classroom and home.
The following section describes a study that was conducted by IRE to establish an El training curriculum and intervention method for early childhood educators and involved several preschool programs in Warsaw.
Current study Rationale
The current study examined the effectiveness of an El training program for teachers in preschools and nurseries in Poland. The El development of teachers is important as they directly influence the classroom environment for children which in turn affects student learning (Brackett, Reyes, Rivers, Elbertson, & Salovey, 2011; Castillo, Fernandez-Berrocal, & Brackett, 2013). Providing emotionally rich environments during such critical periods of development is essential for young children and sets the stage for more optimal emotional development and social functioning at later stages. El curricula in elementary school education has only recently been adapted to younger preschool levels and few of the available programs directly address teacher training in systematic formal ways (Gershon & Pellitteri, 2018). In addition to curriculum on emotional education and El, it is believed that the implementation of El training must be conducted by educators who themselves model effective El skills. Therefore, the challenge of developing effective El training methods for early childhood educators is important.