Math, Science, Literacy and Empathy Are Not Mutually Exclusive

Pushing forward emotional intelligence in the classroom.


The President is absolutely right that the sooner a child begins learning, the further he or she is predicted to achieve professional and personal success. However, it’s important not to limit those skills to science, literacy and math. Emotional intelligence is critical too and should be woven into the rich tapestry of a student’s education.

Studies increasingly link social and emotional intelligence with career and life success – and these must be cultivated early in a child’s development. For example, we know that a child who masters empathy at the age of four is less likely to bully ten years later, and that, for students, having one supportive relationship with an adult outside the family can be the difference between success and failure when they grow up. This evidence is not anecdotal either.


Thankfully, there are already organizations cultivating empathy in young people as early as 3-5 years old that are eager to share best practices and the research needed to continue developing newer and better programs.

By Sharon Lazich