This study’s contribution to knowledge is the contextualizing of emotional awareness as a prerequisite for becoming emotionally intelligent, and developing a program to educate emotional awareness, as a developmental ability, within the educational system. Emotional intelligence is a familiar and widely recognized term, but is in fundamental nature more of a broad and overreaching outcome, rather than an ability. This research focused on children in the middle childhood developmental phase and how emotional awareness can be taught to them. An Emotional Awareness Program (EA Program) was developed and implemented within the classroom context and its effectiveness was evaluated to determine whether the EA Program did have an influence on emotional vocabulary, emotional expression and the general level of emotional awareness displayed by the learners. Being emotionally aware, benefits children on different levels of their functioning. Various authors, as cited in this study, conclude that relationships, self-esteem, academic performance, independent functioning and self expression all benefit from the development of emotional awareness. Entering the school setting is often the child’s first move into relationships with peers and adults other than family members. Learners spend most of their waking lives, during their middle childhood, in school. Many aspects necessary for emotional education may be found within the school environment. These consist of peer relationships, empathy for others, problem-solving, developing a regard for the feelings of others and coping with difficult situations or emotions. A child suffering physical and emotional abuse, neglect, trauma or insufficient stimulation presents neurological deterioration in neurons (the “building blocks” of the brain). Diminished brain functioning may result in anger, emotional episodes and disruptive behaviour as methods of emotional expression in some learners. Neurological damage, suffered in this manner, can be reversed via the intervention of a caring adult. This interaction stimulates healthy neurons, and causes them to migrate to the area that suffered damage, thus illustrating the immense role educators are required to play in the future development and restoration of neurological health of some learners. The educational system is ideally positioned to deal with children from a holistic perspective by addressing not only their cognitive and physical needs, but also their emotional and subsequent social needs. Furthermore, the development of the emotional awareness of educators will equip them with the necessary insight into the emotional needs of learners. It is anticipated that emotional awareness will benefit learners in general and have a positive ripple effect on schools and communities as a whole. The study found that the Gestalt approach is best suited for the research study, as it presupposes that the child is “a whole and complex being”; and considers, as a backdrop, the child’s development regarding awareness and the influence that this has on their progress. It was noted from the study that this viewpoint is not always the point of departure of the current school set-up. This investigation was executed using a quantitative research approach, with a structured method of inquiry. This consisted of the formulation of a specific and constant hypothesis, a predetermined research process and a standardized questionnaire. The researcher wanted to measure the effectiveness of an EA program on specific variables such as the learners’ ability to: <ul> <li> be in contact with their emotions; </li><li> discriminate between different emotions; </li><li> verbalize and take ownership of their emotions; </li></ul> This study resorted within the description of applied research, as it was undertaken to acquire new knowledge and was primarily directed towards practical objectives. It focused on a practical problem; the need for an EA Program for children in middle childhood that was scientifically tested within the South African Education System. Within the context of applied research, intervention research was applicable to this study as it aimed to develop technology, useful to the educational profession. The design and development sub-type of intervention research best encompassed the researcher’s intent to design and develop technology, namely the EA Program, to implement the program (intervention) and to evaluate the effectiveness thereof for further implementation within the education system. A quasi-experimental design namely the comparison group pre-test – post-test design was utilized. A standardized questionnaire entitled Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale (LEAS-C), developed by Dr. Jane Bajgar and Dr. Richard Lane (2003), was used as the measuring instrument. This questionnaire was developed specifically so that its use of language, the length and content of the form would be child appropriate. The study focused on children in the middle childhood developmental phase, which proved to be the phase where emotional awareness begins to play an important role. Children in this phase are particularly susceptible to new knowledge as they have already obtained the basic cognitive abilities (reading, writing and reasoning) necessary to comprehend the content of the EA program. The following conclusions were derived from the execution of this research study: Emotional awareness seemed to be a relatively unfamiliar term in comparison with the widely recognized and renowned term, emotional intelligence. This study positioned emotional awareness as a prerequisite for emotional intelligence; as it is a practical awareness of cognitively obtainable knowledge regarding the emotions of self and others. Emotional intelligence on the other hand is achieved through constructive and optimal emotional awareness abilities. Based on the research findings, and as suggested earlier, it appears that the education system is particularly well positioned to address the emotional development of a large percentage of the school going population. It is assumed that emotional awareness can be cognitively educated and educators are equipped with the necessary educational skills. The education system is thus further favourably equipped to educate emotional content due to the fact that cognitive development is their field of expertise. The research findings indicated that the EA Program succeeded to a great extent in developing emotional vocabulary, higher level emotional responses and the accompanying ability of emotional expression within the experimental group. This measured increase was derived from a seven week exposure to the EA program, which may be indicative of the results that could be achieved with daily exposure to emotional learning, and a healthy emotional setting within the school environment. Obtaining higher level emotional vocabulary is evidently accompanied by emotional expression as the appropriate vocabulary, which is necessary to express the emotional experience accurately. Emotional expression abilities were addressed in particular by the EA Program, and the empirical results suggest that the emotional vocabulary of respondents did expand. A caring educator, well equipped with insight into emotional awareness, may in many instances prove to be a safety net for many learners. This may well serve as a catalyst for reprogramming the brain of the emotionally scarred learner to trust, and risk getting back in the circle of life again, a better alternative than having the learner only surviving by adopting “fight‟ or “flight‟ strategies. Educators must become equipped with the knowledge to comprehend the possibly diminished brain development of the rebellious, aggressive, emotional or introverted learner. This will ensure that their response to such learners has emotional development at heart rather than further emotional harm. Educators should therefore be in touch with their own emotional awareness as well. Indeed, it may prove interesting to determine the value that would be added to the quality of education in South Africa through emotional awareness training to educators. The education system as a whole possesses a responsibility and accountability regarding the educational wellbeing of their learners, as emotional health pre-determines the learners’ ability to thrive. This study made a valuable contribution to the field of both social work and education in their collective aim to develop and empower children. It is recommended that the common grounds where these two professions may meet should be further explored to determine where such a partnership can add further value to the South African educational setting. Providing an emotionally safe and secure classroom atmosphere requires further exploration, as it is an additional factor relating to the ability of learners to excel in class. Existing literature suggests that peer relationships and self-esteem will also benefit from emotional awareness, but the development of these two variables was not tested in this study, and may be a topic for further research. It would be significant to repeat this study on a national level to determine the current emotional level of primary school learners. Comparative studies to determine the differences in emotional awareness of learners in urban and rural areas, or within different ethnic backgrounds may also be of value. This will assist in determining the South African situation regarding emotional awareness and to develop the means to enhance it within the South African education system. This study demonstrated that emotional awareness is an easily comprehendible term which can be easily educated but presents vast benefits.