Emotional education as second language acquisition?

Anne Pirrie, Gale Macleod, James MacAllister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this paper we argue that while emotional education intervention packages offer
certain advantages, there are risks associated with their uncritical use. The main risk is
that if the unwanted behaviour of some pupils is seen merely as a problem that can be
dealt with through targeted intervention, then important, identity constitutive parts of
their reality might become obscured. We reconsider sociological explanations of
school disaffection, along with more recent sociological and philosophical attempts to
explore the emotional aspect of schooling. We hypothesise that some of the
challenging behaviour exhibited by young people in schools is solution seeking; that it
is a functional adaptation to an essentially foreign emotional environment. We
conclude that attempts to educate the emotions should aim to develop morally rich
virtues rather than empty intelligences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-48
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Emotional Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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