Emotional Intelligence As A Formation Factor Of Students’ Key Competences


The article discusses the problems of formation of important social competences of the rising generation. Analysis of foreign and domestic publications suggests that in the periodically updated list of key competencies, these skills are becoming more and more demanded, due to the increase of number of working populations in the service sector, the non-production sector, which requires a certain level of social competence. Social competences cannot be fully developed exclusively in vocational education, although today they are becoming in demand in professional activity, warning “teacher’s professional burnout”. The formation of these competencies is largely personal in nature, which is why this process is rather long in nature and should start from early childhood. The article analyzes the conditions and features of the formation of an important component of social competence – emotional intelligence – in the conditions of school education. The author insists that in the conditions of the information society and the digital economy, many children suffer from sensory impairments, because live communication (with parents and peers), being in real objects often replaces gadgets with them. Modern school is forced to fill the deficiencies of social development of students. The author proposes ways to solve this problem: to build in the process of forming emotional intelligence in the educational process in elementary school.

Keywords: Competenciessocial skillsstudents' emotional intelligence


The problem of formation of key competencies is important for any national education system, which is fixed at numerous international educational conferences. And not only educational. Thus, the list of key competencies was repeatedly discussed at the world economic forums held annually in Davos. The list of the Davos Forum 2015 included 10 key skills (Top 10 skills), and there was no such competence as emotional intelligence in it. However, in the lists of Davos forums after 2015, he already occupies the sixth line of this list (The 10 skills you need to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. World economic forum, 2016).

This correction of the list of key competencies of the 20th century is associated with rapidly changing living conditions of a modern person. Correction occurs in the direction of enhancing the personal characteristics of a person who lives in the era of the fourth industrial revolution. The introduction of emotional intelligence is not accidental: the skills of understanding emotions and the ability to control them are extremely important in social interaction and in the professional activity of any person (Andreeva, 2015; Ciarrochi, Deane, & Anderson, 2002; Hasson & Hadfield, 2014; Hasson, 2018; Walker, 2018).

Problem Statement

The modern Russian school is focused on the development of pupils' skills and competencies of the XIX century, including emotional intelligence, the demand for which in the information age increases significantly. Success in mental, aesthetic, moral education directly depends on the level of the child's sensory development (Basyrova, 2016). As experts say, due to the early immersion in gadgets and the Internet, often the lack of “live” communication, the lack of sensory experience in general, “sensory” children have appeared in modern educational practice. This phenomenon is fixed by various specialists – teachers, psychologists, and finally, children's neurologists (Basyrova, 2016; Hasson & Hadfield, 2014; Hasson, 2018).

Getting into the children's society, these children do not know how to communicate with other children. The society becomes a traumatic factor for them, which then affects their behavioral practices, in which various disorders are observed, for example, attention deficit, hyperactivity syndrome. With these problems, preschoolers come to primary school and face new, now learning problems.

The above arguments prove the relevance of the problem of forming the emotional intelligence of younger schoolchildren in the modern information age.

Research Questions

The need to find solution of the problems of the development of emotional intelligence in younger schoolchildren is dictated by the place of this key competence in the general list of modern competencies, as well as the influence of emotional intelligence on the formation of other key competencies, for example, communicative, cooperative skills of interaction with other people. In this regard, the following questions are particularly important, in our opinion, that need to be explored in the modern educational practice of primary school.

1. Comprehension of the domestic experience in the formation of students' emotional intelligence.

2. Determining the place of emotional intelligence in the educational space of a modern elementary school.

Purpose of the Study

Emotions are an important part of the life of any person, especially a child, whose emotions have always been distinguished by spontaneity and wealth. However, in the modern digital era, due to significant socioeconomic changes, we observe deficiencies in the development of the child’s emotional sphere. The purpose of our research is to study ways to fill the deficit in the emotional development of a modern child by means of educational disciplines.

Research Methods

To solve these tasks, we used theoretical methods: a critical analysis of scientific publications of Russian and foreign researchers, a conceptual and terminological analysis, a method of comparative analysis and theoretical modeling, empirical (observation, conversation, pedagogical experiment).


The study of emotional intelligence of people of different ages and professions today receives much attention. The emotional intelligence is the ability of people to effectively understand the emotional sphere of human life, for example, be able to understand emotions of other people, adequately assess self-emotional condition, see the emotional background of social relationships and actions of people, finally, be able to use their emotions and emotions of people around them solving self-life tasks.

The rapid development of the theory of emotional intelligence in modern times is associated with the name of R. Bar-On, who used the term "emotional coefficient" in his research (Bar-On, 1997; Bar-On, Handley, & Fund, 2006). Based on his research, American psychologists began to talk about different types and forms of intelligence. American authors described a method for measuring emotional intelligence, which gave the teaching of emotional intelligence a view of a relatively complete theory that has been widely used in everyday human life. Foreign authors interpreted emotional intelligence as the ability of an individual to track his own and other people's emotions so that later this information could be used in various activities (Bar-On, Handley, & Fund, 2006; Goleman, 1995; Marlowe, 1986; Mayer, 2001; Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso, 2004; Mayer, Salovey, Caruso, & Cherkasskiy, 2011).

Although the rapid development of the theory of emotional intelligence and the practice of its use is associated with the names of foreign authors, the idea of the unity of intelligence and the emotional condition of a person is not new, at least for domestic science. At one time it was reflected in the works of L.S. Vygotsky, S.L. Rubinstein, A.N. Leontiev, A.R. Luria, B.V. Zeigarnik, OK Tikhomirova, A.A. Bodaleva, A.V. Brushlinsky. So, Vygotsky (1999) wrote about the logical connections of emotional and thought processes, even about the unity of emotional and intellectual development. He made a rather precise remark that emotions are most of all involved in the regulation of thinking, in its motivation, as well as in the motivation of any activity. The psychologist called the effect of the presence of emotions in thinking “semantic experience” (Walker, 2018). We see that the Vygotsky's (1999) term is extremely close to the modern concept of “emotional intelligence”.

Rubinstein (1973) and other researchers also wrote about the emotional regulation of thinking. Domestic researchers have noted that the materiality of the trait and properties, the significance of the object or phenomenon itself depends on what meaning they have acquired now for a person. In the new time in the domestic psychology, the concept of “emotional thinking” was introduced, which can be considered an analogue of the concept of “social intelligence”. Describing the process of solving problems, the domestic scientists insisted, that emotional aspects were necessarily present in it, carrying out regulatory and heuristic functions in him. Emotions are an indispensable condition for productive human activity.

It should be noted that such valuable remarks about the connection of emotions and mental activity were made even before the appearance of works of foreign researchers in this area – in the area of emotional intelligence. It seems that this circumstance was the reason for the active adoption and wide dissemination of the theory of emotional intelligence in the domestic scientific community.

Despite the relevance and wide dissemination of research on the problem of emotional intelligence in the educational space, the proven relationship of cognitive and affective processes of students, the problem of the formation of emotional intelligence in the educational space of the school still remains insufficiently developed. So, until now, the development and regulation of emotional intelligence of students, including primary school students, is supposed to be carried out in a game form and in the form of trainings outside the classroom walls. Meanwhile, this form of work with children of primary school age is not always effective. Play activity is an organic part of the life of a junior schoolchild, and it is difficult for him to realize later his experiences.

It seems that a modern child should be able, as it were, to observe the display of human emotions, to be able to qualify them, and then project it onto their own emotional sphere in order to learn to control themselves and regulate their emotions, to make them “smart”, i.e. to form an emotional intelligence.

We note another important feature of the formation of emotional intelligence of younger students. A high level of emotional intelligence is characterized by a large set of words on emotional topics. In the vocabulary of a person with a good development of emotional intelligence, there are words that allow you to accurately and fully name various emotional conditions, as well as distinguish them, for example, sadness, boredom, anger, anxiety, resentment, irritation, anxiety and other emotional conditions. Primary school methodologists fix the poverty of the dictionary of younger schoolchildren, including their emotional vocabulary, which, as a rule, varies within an antonymous pair of words: good – bad, like – dislike. Therefore, the expansion of the emotional repertoire of words is also an important task of the formation of emotional intelligence. Without this, it is impossible to realize one’s emotional state, as well as the qualification of the emotional state of the communicative partner, i.e. the interlocutor, the more recognition of the causes of their own and others' emotions.

We believe that in elementary school there are conditions for the development of students' emotional intelligence. A good tool for the development of emotional intelligence is the educational material of the lessons of literary reading – the fiction texts. As the researchers insist, a work of art has not only a logical, but also an emotional structure, which is due to the very nature of the work of art (Silchenkova, 2015). The emotional structure of the literary text involves the gradual inclusion of the reader's active perception of the literary work, for which each artistic text has emotional signs, which are designed to include the reader's emotional reaction, to intensify his perception and imagination. As a rule, emotional signs are located at the beginning of the text, for example, in the exposition. Readers of primary school age should be helped to learn to see the emotional signs in the text. The teacher organizes the preparation for the primary reading accordingly, so that the students can “enter” the text of the literary and artistic work more quickly (Silchenkova, 2015). Psychologists describe the stage of “entering the text” as the moment of a sharp change in the work of mental processes during reading – imagination, understanding, perception as a whole.

The means of creating an image of the hero also contain emotional signs that should be specially worked on, teaching the child to extrapolate them to their own experience of behavior in society: the classmates', the family, peers in the yard etc. Let us illustrate this with an example of working with a literary reading lesson. When working on the image of the main character – boy Pavlik – second-graders collected material about him throughout the text of the story by Oseeva (2009) “Magic word”. We note that the task was differentiated: one part of the class using selective reading finds a description of the actions and behaviors of the hero before an unfamiliar old man told the boy a “magic word”, and the other part described the actions and behaviors of this hero after hero magic word. The first group gathered and presented the class with such words and phrases: “red, angry face”, “glanced at him”, “grunted angrily”, “clenched his fists”, “puffed by insult”, “Pavlik shouted”, “hit his fist on the bench”. The teacher invited several second-graders to try to demonstrate the gestures of this character to the class: clench their fists, knock on the desk. On the face of second graders who showed these gestures, involuntarily appeared aggressive, one might even say, an evil grimace on his face. When the teacher asked the rest of the class how to treat such people, the opinion turned out to be almost unanimous: “a person causes negative feelings”, “you cannot be friends with him”, “you can be afraid of him”, “it’s better to move away from him”, “it’s scary to even talk to him”.

Estimated characteristics of the hero's behavior in the second part of the story (“said in a quiet voice”, “said timidly”, “looked into his eyes and whispered”, “jumped for joy and kissed her (grandmother) on both cheeks”, “sat quietly”, “asked quietly”) second graders called for approval: “this is a good boy”, “it is pleasant to talk with him”, “you can talk with Pavlik”, “I would be friends with such a person, because he knows how to speak quietly”, “disaccustomed to shout”, “of course man does not want to refuse, so he wants to help him”.

The students of the experimental class, in fact, came to the conclusion about the reasons for successful communication: you must be able to communicate, see the mood of other people, take into account their emotions, and you must be able to restrain your emotions and excessive desires. In the language of psychology, this means “to be able to be assertive” – the ability to defend one’s interests, without prejudice to the interests of other people (Hasson & Hadfield, 2014).

Not always the description of the emotional condition of the hero is given directly, sometimes it is necessary to isolate it when analyzing the text of a work of art. We will show it on the example of working with the story of Dragunsky (2014) “It is alive and shining,” which is often included in educational reading books for literary reading lessons in elementary school.

This is a children's story with a psychological component. It describes how the boy waited in the courtyard for his mother, who for some reason lingered somewhere. No action takes place. In the story, everything is focused on the emotional condition of the hero on whose behalf the narration is being written. This implies that the emotional sphere of reading activity will be fully involved, provided that attention is paid to it in the process of reading and analyzing the story by V.Yu. Dragunsky, because the emotional repertoire of words for describing the inner condition of the hero in the story is not too large. This is perfectly justified from the point of view of the writer's artistic task: the narration is conducted on behalf of the child, whose vocabulary is not large in principle, and the more words that describe the emotional condition of a person.

The work on the “emotional information” of V.Yu. Dragunsky’s story was organized on the basis of a consistent analysis of other types of text information: factual, subtextual, conceptual (Zinovyeva, 2019).

In the story both: factual and cognitive (subtext) information are given, for example: “all the parents of our yard have already arrived, and all the guys have gone home with them and already probably drank tea with bagels and cheese, but my mom is still not it was…”. This is factual information. In this paragraph there is also hidden (not explicitly, not directly expressed) information – the boy was alone. The linguistics interprets non-explicitly expressed information as subtextual. The word “alone” is not present when reading this paragraph, but it is meant: all parents and all children left the yard and were engaged in pleasant evening household chores. To draw attention to this fact, the teacher naturally asks the question: “What was his mood? What words can describe his condition?”. It was important to hear from the students the words: “alone”, “loneliness”, “missing mom”. We give the students a collective response: “He was sad. He was lonely, because no one was in the yard, everyone went home for dinner. The boy missed his mom. He was alone”. In this way, the teacher isolates from the description of the facts and events of the story the subtext information, which consists in describing the emotional condition of the character of the story (Zinovyeva, 2019).

The second paragraph consists of only one complex sentence, and using such language means as polysindeton (repeated use of conjunctions), which enhances the psychological condition of the hero described in the first part of the story – sadness, boredom: “And now the lights began to light up in the windows, and the radio started playing music, and dark clouds began to move in the sky – they looked like bearded old men...”. Polysindeton as if injects a negative emotional condition of the hero – loneliness, sadness, and maybe even depression. The following questions are asked by the teacher: “Has his mood changed?” After a brief discussion, the students come to the conclusion that his mood did not improve, but soon, it worsened. You can even say that the condition of sadness and boredom has increased.

This work on the analysis of the story of the children's writer V.Yu. Dragunsky was organized in order to form the reflection and value judgments of primary school students, for which it was necessary to expand and streamline their emotional vocabulary. We see that the work was organized not just by the way of communicating new words or new meanings with familiar words. The emotional vocabulary of students expanded gradually during a thorough analysis of the text of V.Yu. Dragunsky’s story, there was a gradual accumulation of such words in relation to the concrete everyday situation described in the story, and the replenishment went along with the systematization of the emotional repertoire: a whole synonymic line of words denoting a negative emotional condition was built person: boredom – sadness – longing. The first two members of this synonymous series are more suited to the description of the psychological condition of the hero: boredom – the painful feeling of the absence of something, the painful desire to see someone; sadness is more significant, i.e. more dissatisfaction of a person in something. Despondency, anguish – even stronger feelings, such words we considered it necessary not to introduce, but we believe that it is possible to show the trajectory of its possible movement. This expands the emotional vocabulary of students, allows you to correctly identify the emotional condition of literary characters. All this helps primary school students to realise their emotional condition, to correctly qualify them verbally (Hasson & Hadfield, 2014; Silchenkova, 2015).


The formation of emotional intelligence of schoolchildren is an important task of primary school. It should be organically integrated into the educational process, especially since the content of academic disciplines at this level of education provides certain opportunities. Evaluation of the emotions of literary characters, the development and gradual accumulation of an emotional vocabulary of students constitute important reading competences. At the same time, all this is an important component of emotional intelligence, which can provide a gradual transition from reading practices to the reflection of an individual's own emotional conditions. Thus, analytical reading activities can provide a productive way for students to form an important social competence – emotional intelligence.


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18 December 2019

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Silchenkova*, L. S., Melnikov, D. A., Piche-ool, T. S., Sedykh, V. V., Farnieva, M. G., & Umalatov, T. N. (2019). Emotional Intelligence As A Formation Factor Of Students’ Key Competences. In & S. K. Lo (Ed.), Education Environment for the Information Age, vol 69. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 835-842). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.09.02.93