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Teaching social-emotional Intelligence to adults in Ireland

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According to CASEL, social-emotional learning (SEL) is “the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions” (Fundamentals of SEL, 2022), and is a crucial part of any human’s development. Adults with the emotional intelligence to guide students through their growth in SEL include those who are self-aware and emotionally literate, practice emotional self-regulation, and model prosocial behaviors for students (Malone, 2021). People who have these qualities are also better at working with others, as well as they are more satisfied with their jobs, can better deal with stress, and are more resilient to challenges. There is a number of studies demonstrating that people (from interns to managers) with higher emotional intelligence are better suited to work cohesively across teams, adapt to changing environments, and deal with stressful situations – thus enabling them to more efficiently achieve business objectives (Houston, 2022). According to research by Bar-On (1997), those with higher emotional intelligence outperformed those with lower emotional intelligence in all areas of life, including academic accomplishment, physical and mental well-being, and professional attainment. Employers place an ever-increasing focus on the value of emotional intelligence (EI) over academic credentials in the modern, dynamic workplace (Houston, 2022).

There is an ever-growing demand for social-emotional intelligence education in Ireland, and even though the prior focus was put on children’s development in this aspect, there is a lot of online content brought to adults who want to enhance their socio-emotional skills. Many organizations around Ireland have kick-started initiatives that provided online courses and workshops that adults could engage in to improve

their employability, social and interpersonal skills, and overall understanding of the economic environment we are living in. By stepping into this, a number of learning organisations, schools, and independent facilitators are looking to increase awareness of adult training and promote lifelong learning. The schools are getting more proactive in following the framework introduced by the European Commission about integrating social and emotional education within standard curricula in the EU. However, this has only been implemented in schools teaching children and young adults. With actions such as delivering online courses, and training and facilitating sessions that organisations across Ireland have embarked on, we are confident that the SESKAT project will be of great benefit when it comes to promoting the value of adult learning and teachers’ upskilling in SEL and will attract adults to engage in fostering a positive culture in their personal and professional networks.


Bar-On, R. (1997). Bar-on Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i): Technical manual. Multi-health systems. Toronto, Canada: Multi-Health Systems, Inc.

Fundamentals of SEL. (2022, March 11). CASEL. Retrieved September 5, 2022, from

Houston, E. B. (2022a, July 2). The Importance of Emotional Intelligence. Retrieved September 5, 2022, from

Malone, K. (2021, July 2). Why Continued Adult SEL is Needed. Graduate Programs for Educators. Retrieved September 5, 2022, from

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