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Is it wrong to teach children about feelings?

concepts such as 'emotional literacy' and self-esteem have been challenged by researchers in the UK and the US.

 Kathryn Ecclestone from Oxford Brooks University writes about the damaging effects of these concepts.  She argues that some psychologists have perpetuated the idea that we all have 'esteem issues' and that 'this 'cultural mantra' is now so prevalent that denials of depression or low self-esteem lead to a diagnosis of repressed feelings and a lack of emotional intelligence'.  The UK has been following the US in asserting that low self-esteem and low emotional literacy are both the cause and effect of social exclusion and educational disadvantages.  Despite the lack of research evidence linking poor emotional literacy and low self-esteem with variety of factors such as educational unattainment, crime rates and offending behaviour, these sweeping assertions are still being translated into official targets and guidance for ' social, emotional and affective learning' in schools.  Emotional expression periods in the school day may provide an opportunity for pitying and labelling other children as ' friendship strugglers' or ?at-risk learners'.  Ecclestone asserts that ?there is no robust, independent evidence that making children and young people express their feelings in formal rituals at school is a good thing?.

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