A proactive vs reactive behavior management approach in promoting school-age children's emotional quotient

Suk Ching Stella CHONG

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


In the daily newspaper, you almost witness a world wide trend that school age children are getting more and more unsettled in school, at home, and in the community. It is quite difficult to find a day without hearing children committing crimes. It is even more alarming to observe a rising number of cases where children made suicide attempts. Many teachers, administration community helpers and parents are apprehensive as to know what to do with them. According to Breheney (1996), children’s negative behaviors result primarily from four main areas: poor interpersonal skills, low self-esteem, inability to channel negative feelings and, inability to handle conflicts. Some researchers (Goleman, 1995) believe that children with weak emotional quotients have greater difficulty in handling psychological upheaval. This paper describes a proactive approach that has been adopted by 20 schools in a school district in California which saw tremendous result of improvement in students’ behavior. It is believed that such an approach will lay a solid foundation for all children in learning how to deal with their emotions and to problem-solve. Rather than waiting for something to happen and then reacting to it, the program aims at strengthening children’s emotional quotient such that they may have different strategies and knowledge base to handle the day-to-day interpersonal relationship and to resolve problems independently at an early stage. Within that California school district, the program has been successfully tried out in primary, junior high, and high schools. The presenter will provide conference participants with a first hand knowledge of how to carry out a proactive whole school or whole district approach in managing children’s behavior. Application issues will be discussed and suggestions will be made in relation to the Hong Kong’s regular school setting.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1999


regular school
suicide attempt


Lau-Chong, S. (1999, February). A proactive vs reactive behavior management approach in promoting school-age children's emotional quotient. Paper presented at the International Conference on Teacher Education 1999: Teaching Effectiveness and Teacher Development in the New Century, Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.