In the beginning, psychologists focused on cognitive constructs like memory and problem solving in their first attempt to write on intelligence. This did not last when researchers begun to challenge this orientation and recognized that there are other non-cognitive aspects of intelligence. For instance, Robert Thorndike wrote about social intelligence in 1937. And as early as 1943, Wechsler,D. (1943) proposed that the non-intellective abilities are essential for predicting one‟s ability to succeed in life. Goleman (1995) gave a short of answer when he asserted that success depends on several intelligences and on the control of emotion .Specifically, he stressed that intelligence (IQ) alone is no more the measure of success. According to him intelligent account for only 20% of the total success, and the rest goes for Emotional and Social intelligences. Abisamra (2000) then queried that if this is found to be so, why the teachers don‟t begin to teach its components (i.e.., emotional intelligence) to students at schools?
He then concluded that if emotional intelligence affects student achievement, then it is imperative for schools to integrate it in their curricula and thereby raising the level of students‟ success. According to Salovey and Mayer (1990), Emotional Intelligence is being able to monitor one‟s own and other‟s feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this to guide one‟s thinking and actions. Again, Salovey and Mayer (1993) wrote that an emotionally intelligent person is skilled in four areas: identifying, using, understanding, and regulating emotions. Similarly, Goleman also stressed that emotional intelligence consists of five components: Knowing one‟s emotions (self-awareness), managing them, motivating self, recognizing emotions in others (empathy), and handling relationships. Achievement outcomes have been regarded as a function of two characteristics, “Skills” and “Will” and these must be considered separately because possessing the will alone may not ensure success if the skill is lacking( Sarwar,2004).
Academic achievement can be referred here as academic intelligence, by academic intelligence means a typically defined by conventional definition and tests comprising so-called general ability and related abilities (BarOn,2000).Students‟ ability to express his or her personality and to enjoy rich and complex social relations depends largely on his mastery of academic matters (Nabeel and Nazir 2003). Shahzad (2005) proposed to institutionalize a formal counseling program for their personality nourishment. Considerable researches have suggested that motivational dynamic traits are important along with abilities and personalities traits in predicting academic school learning (Boyle et al 1989). Specifically, Finnegan (1998) argued that school should help students learn the abilities underlying the emotional intelligence. This he believes could lead to achievement from formal education years of the child.
Likewise, Abisamra (2000) reported that there is a positive relationship between emotional intelligence and academic achievement. He therefore canvassed for inclusion of emotional intelligence in the schools‟ curricula. .In essence, the importance of emotional intelligence on academic achievement has been found to be very significant .Nevertheless, and in spite of the studies reviewed, there is still a need to further investigate the relationship of emotional intelligence to academic achievement most especially in country like Pakistan, where most researchers are yet to show interest in the construct.
Important Issues Facing Students and Education
In recent years, low test scores and accountability standards have been the focus of education reform and criticism directed to public education at all levels. The broader mission of education becomes clouded when effectiveness is defined solely or even primarily on the basis of performance on standardized assessment models. Test scores reflect the narrow emphasis of schooling rather than the broader mission of education. A healthy school climate focusing on academic, career, and leadership development requires an emphasis on affective or emotional learning as much as on academic or cognitive learning.
In addition to state and national academic performance indicators, there are several other issues that are indicators for change, reform, and renewal. School violence, physical and emotional safety, abuse, drop-out and retention rates are current examples. A major challenge for education is to provide safe campuses, healthy learning climates, and rigorous academic curricula taught by qualified teachers for interested and motivated learners. Healthy and safe learning environments are necessary for students and teachers to perform at their highest levels.
Changes in the nature of work and productivity demands of a global economy necessitate additional restructuring and reform efforts. As schools and colleges prepare students for careers and productive employment, education will continue to modify its programs and instruction. As colleges prepare students for positions of responsibility and leadership, there will be an increased interest and recognition of the importance of the contributions of the emotional mind. In short, learning and applying emotional intelligence skills contribute to academic and career success. It is easy to discover that there are very serious issues and questions facing education which need to be addressed and answered. One of these was posed in the classic book Excellence: Can We Be Equal and Excellent Too? (J. Gardner, 1961). This is an excellent question and one that deserves serious thought and attention, especially in a competitive and free society. The question of equality and excellence posed by Gardner remains relevant today, perhaps more so now than in 1961. Equalitarianism and excellence are based on human values and principles of fairness and competition; equality and individual difference; hard work and performance; and commitment and productivity.