Educational Research Journal

Socially Intelligent Intercultural Education

2013.第28卷第1及2期(Vol. 28 Nos. 1 & 2).pp. 145–162

Socially Intelligent Intercultural Education



In this article the concept of social intelligence in intercultural education classes was explored as it can contribute toward forming a more tolerant and sustainable society. Specifically, a qualitative research study was conducted with 74 preservice first-year Latvia university students (emerging teachers) and 25 master-level in-service students (teachers and social workers). The aim was to discover students’ understanding of social intelligence and its applicability for lessening ethnic tensions and forming positive relationships in a multicultural environment. Guided small-group discussions were facilitated, and the written responses received from the participants of discussion groups were summarized and analyzed. Participant response trends indicated that most of the student suggestions about how to diminish ethnic tensions in their surroundings were action-oriented and closely linked to skills and competences related to social intelligence. It also revealed the need for educators to consider how to promote through the teaching process such qualities as tolerance, respect, kindness, care and empathy, which are essential for successful social and intercultural interactions. Implications for practice are briefly discussed.

Keywords: social intelligence; intercultural education; empathy