Using Literature for Emotional Literacy Education: A Review and Proposal for Hong Kong Universities


Daniel Goleman��s 1995 book Emotional Intelligence has been credited for bringing the importance of emotional intelligence (and emotional literacy, which refers to different qualities although they are often used interchangeably) to the attention of international layman readers. Although the exact abilities and aptitudes included in emotional intelligence (or literacy) vary with different scholars, it ��may be construed as the repertoire of emotional competencies and skills available to an individual at a given point in time, for coping with the environmental demands and constraints,�� as Matthews, Zneider, and Roberts state in their Emotional Intelligence: Science and Myth (2002). If these competencies and skills are so essential to a human being��s overall health and quality of life, where and when do we acquire these skills? An obvious answer will be through the formal education system, which makes sure that under normal circumstances, a student will acquire the basic necessary skills for survival in our society. Yet in Hong Kong, despite its having a highly competitive compulsory education system, emotional literacy is not a part of the formal education system at any level from primary to secondary and tertiary education. This presentation is an attempt to review the education of emotions among Hong Kong universities, and to make suggestions about how the education of emotions can be incorporated into the formal curriculum in university. More specifically a proposal will be made to use literature and film as the core texts to construct a learning experience for university students through general education.

Author Information
Amy Lee Wai Sum, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

Paper Information
Conference: LibrAsia2015
Stream: Literature - Teaching Literature

This paper is part of the LibrAsia2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon