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Integrating emotional competences in the Early Childhood Education curriculum

Keywords: Emotional intelligence , Early Childhood Education , Emotional competence , Emotional education , Emotional development , Social development

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Abstract:

The current Spanish education legislation has started to highlight the need to work on emotional education since early childhood Education. The Spanish Education Law 2/2006 May 3rd (known as LOE), and all decrees and orders currently regulating the curriculum and teaching in Early Childhood Education include contents and objectives related to the Emotional Intelligence framework developed by Mayer & Salovey (1997). Because all these laws and regulations give teachers autonomy for both designing and programming the curriculum in Early Childhood Education and because important relationships have been established between social and emotional competence and school adaptation, we argue in this paper that the training of future teachers in Early Childhood Education should include the development of emotional intelligence abilities and skills.This article presents an emotional education proposal for its integration in the second cycle of Early Childhood Education (children aged 3 to 6 years old). This proposal is based on Mayer and Salovey’s model (1997) of emotional intelligence. This model is the only one in which emotional abilities are considered cognitive-emotional capacities which can be developed and it matches the general goal of this educational stage and also the general aims and curricular contents included in the abovementioned legislation.

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