Today in the fields of philosophy and psychology, many studies concerning emotions are relevant from a theoretical point of view. However, educational theory needs empirical studies that investigate how children can be educated to analyse and understand their emotional lives. With this premise, we developed an educative project to conduct qualitative research.
The participants were children in four fourth classes of three primary schools in Verona, Italy. The project design was intended to facilitate the children’s reflections on their emotions, and the research was guided by the following question: “What ways of affective self-understanding emerge from an educative experience that is tructured on the basis of a cognitive conception of emotions?”
During the educative experience, which lasted four months, the children were required to write and analyse their emotions in a personal diary titled the “Journal of Emotional Life”. In their journals, the children had to write a narrative about an emotion they felt during the day and analyse it on the basis of a metaphor. The metaphor was the “vegetable garden of emotions”.
The researchers analysed the collected data on the basis of a phenomenological and inductive approach.
The study’s results allowed identification of some elements of the way the children develop their affective self-understanding.
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