1 Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (SPAIN)
2 Institución Profesional Salesiana (Salesianos Carabanchel) (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN16 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 532-539
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1102
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Nowadays many projects related to emotional intelligence development are faced both in educational and labor market areas. There are programs targeting kindergarten, primary and secondary students. We can also find them included in business training. The relevance given to this area is growing up, especially considering how big companies are concerned about it. However, we can observe how Higher Education students both in Vocational Training and in College are left aside of specific emotional intelligence development programs.

Higher Education students are supposed to have a wide life experience and self-knowing. The expected consequence would be the progress of many of the key competences related to emotional intelligence. Teaching experience shows that students between sixteen and twenty- five suffer from many emotional deprivations. One of the most evident moment of this is taking decisions where we can observe that teenagers and young people make slow and very complex discern processes to make any decision. Furthermore, they do not usually opt for the best. This is an effect of the poor development of emotional intelligence in the curricula. Not so long ago, it was neither a priority nor a need. Therefore, considering how circumstances of life change and that these students need to provide an answer for the new situations, emotional intelligence should be developed through all the educational levels.

Focusing on Vocational Training, the students very often report great difficulties connecting with themselves and with their own feelings. This gap is mainly due to the continuous flow of incentives that attract our attention and drives us into an external way of living. This makes more difficult an internal experience. Mindfulness is one of the techniques available to develop the emotional intelligence. Its goal is helping students to be fully aware of every single moment. This being conscious benefits a deeper knowledge of themselves, extends well-being, and fosters self-control.

This is the reason why Vocational Training students in the fields of Sports and Kindergarten were suggested to attend to four thirty-minute sessions of Mindfulness. Diverse types of meditation and introspection activities were used in these sessions. Eighty students took part on the experience and assessed it with a survey. This survey helped us to learn about their feelings along the sessions and the benefits they could achieve practicing activities focused on personal development.
Mindfulness, emotional intelligence, Vocational Training.