Blog #2- Jennifer Trujillo-Armijo

Developing a curriculum based off emotional intelligence has been our goal for this research. Researching and attending trainings held by Yale, who have implemented the RULER technique, has helped us come up with some ideas for a standard curriculum. Up to this point, we have developed a minimum of 6 lesson plans that implement the 5 building blocks that make up emotional intelligence. Each lesson plan focuses on explaining each component such as self-awareness, self-regulation, internal motivation, empathy and social skills. Then an activity is also included to get students to develop each component. The goal is that by the end of these lessons, they are more aware of their emotional intelligence and practice using it for their academic careers.

Some challenges that we ran into while developing these lessons plans were finding a base to start from. The research we found was good and the book we were reading helped a lot, however, most lesson plans or curriculums were for middle school or elementary school children. It wouldn’t make sense to base it off that for college students, which is our target audience. Yet, we were able to find components of emotional intelligence and do a separate search on each one. From there, it was easier to develop a more in-depth program for each one.

Throughout this project, I have learned to be more aware of my own emotional intelligence. Downloading an app that tracks my mood gives me insight as to how im feeling throughout the day and makes me more self-aware. It was eye-opening to see that I’m not always feeling happy, even though people tell me that I am a happy person. It also gives me insight as to how I can develop motivation, social skills and use this to my advantage. Especially during my time here at Pace, it can be useful to get ahead academically and socially. This project has impacted me in a way I did not think it would impact me. At first, I didn’t think that I was going to like researching, but doing this for the whole entire summer, I love researching and am looking forward to my experimental psych class next month!

Emotional Intelligence

This summer I am conducting research with Professor Shadick. The title of our research is “Developing Emotional Intelligence in College Students” and it’s goal is to develop a program promoting emotional intelligence for Pace students starting in their first year. Emotional intelligence has been proven to be an important factor for retention and graduation rates as well as overall academic performance. It has also been shown to markedly decrease the incidence of emotional difficulties such as depression and anxiety as well as substance use disorders. The objectives of the research program are to construct exercises for students that will be used in classes. The exercises will promote self-awareness, self-regulation, internal motivation, empathy, and social skills.

I expect to learn how emotional intelligence plays a role in academic performance and psychological difficulties. As a former freshman, I was never in tune with my emotions which caused stress levels to increase my first year of college. Reviewing the scholarly literature as well as reading the book “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman, I will help to develop a program that utilizes a method, called the RULER approach, currently being used by Yale University in public schools.

The research that I will be participating in is development focused, that is it will not be a formal study. Our aim will be to construct an curriculum that will be assessed in a pilot project in the Fall semester of 2014. The methods that will be used to further our research will be literature analysis.