Literature Review 1

Developing an emotionally literate school
Stuart Boon
University of Leicester

“Emotional Literacy” involves students being able to recognise their emotions and those of others
and respond to these in appropriate ways. This article will first provide an overview of literature
which defines emotional literacy before offering some conclusions about what this term actually
encompasses. It will then suggest some ways in which schools can foster more emotionally literate
cultures. Developing such cultures in schools might involve a whole school approach devoted to
emotionally literate behaviour management, enhancing the position of emotional learning within the
school timetable, providing opportunities for circle time and considering ways in which emotional
literacy might be developed on the playground too through peer mentoring. The article will then
evaluate some of the perceived benefits of developing emotional literacy in schools such as
improved behaviour, pupil welfare and examination results, before offering recommendations for
professional practice. Although primarily aimed at primary and elementary school teachers, this
article is also relevant for professionals working in secondary schools and those interested in
affective education.

Keywords: emotional literacy; emotional intelligence; primary schools; affective education; school
improvement; circle time; peer mentoring; whole school approach.




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