While some scientistis disagree, many acknowledge relative IQ scores are fairly constant throughout a person's life. IQ scores may increase during adolescence, but as we get older, our IQ becomes more and more fixed. But IQ is only one measure of intelligence. It is certainly important, but more so in a traditional model of education where rote memorization was at the forefront of assessment and evaluation.
Similarly, the dominance of IQ as a sole measure of future success in the workplace has diminished over time. Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Be More Important Than IQ, notes, “The workplace has always been based on an academic model of learning, but the part of the brain that works well in school is the neocortex - the thinking brain. This does not help people develop self-confidence, aid in persuading people, being collaborative, having self-confidence or initiative, or in leading change. Those all involve the primitive part of the brain responsible for emotional intelligence, which these traditional courses do not address.”
Goleman goes on to note the importance of sustained effort, repetition, a clear model for an end goal in developing strong leaders with emotional intelligence (EQ). You see, unlike IQ, EQ can be developed over time. In one study of over 500 large corporations seeking to identify the drivers behind their most successful employees, EQ played a role twice that of IQ and technical talent combined.
At Proctor, we value each individual as a unique learner and intentionally mold classrooms to capitalize on that individuality, and therefore, the development EQ is an essential part of our curriculum.
Helping students understand how to be self-aware, empathetic, motivated classmates who understand how to manage emotions and understand social situations is critical to us fulfilling our mission of graduating individuals who are are collaborative, ethical individuals, ready to contribute productively to their communities. We know that our diverse programs and experiential approach to education develop creative, resilient, and knowledgeable problem solvers who take responsibility for their own learning.
This past weekend’s Jazz/Rock excursion to New York City (see video above) epitomizes the value behind an emotional intelligence based curriculum. Music Department Chair Bill Wightman took a group of eleven musicians to compete at the Worldstrides Heritage Music Festival. Students performed at the Riverside Church and in front of a number of judges. Out of more than 1200 students competing, Proctor’s jazz band earned first place in the Jazz/Rock ensemble category. Additionally, six Individual Awards for Excellence in Performance were given to the field of 1200 performers, and Proctor earned three of those awards!
The awards and recognition of the outstanding musical talent at Proctor is tremendous. But what is even more satisfying is watching that group of students further develop their emotional intelligence as they work collaboratively toward an end goal of musical excellence. Group dynamics, teamwork, empathy - these are the skills that are going to lead to future success.
Bill Wightman noted in assembly last week thanking teachers and coaches for their flexibility, “I feel so fortunate to teach at a school that values this type of experiential learning enough to give students the opportunity to travel and perform in a competition like this.” So do, I Bill. So do I.
Proctor's Jazz/Rock Ensemble's trip to New York City last weekend is just another example of valuing experiential education.
We know that through experiential learning, bonds are formed between students. This process of relationship development with a diverse population is crucial to building emotional intelligence.
Whether you are studying on-campus or off-campus, Proctor's curriculum is designed to teach collaboration, teamwork, and empathy - skills that may not exist in a traditional school, but are critical to future endeavors.