10 SES 12 D, Emotional Knowledge, Emotional Experience and Dimensions of Burnout
The term “affect” refers to non-cognitive constructs involving beliefs, moods and emotions (Boekaerts, 2007; Pekrun & Linnenbrick-Garcia, 2014) that could be crucial on teaching and learning outcomes. Among these constructs, emotions have either been neglected or considered to be destructive, primitive (Sutton & Wheatley, 2003), irrelevant and bothersome in scientific research (Frenzel & Stephens, 2013). However, in recent years this picture has changed drastically in many disciplines which placed emotions in a critical position (Neville, 2013; as cited in Fried, Mansfield, & Dobozy, 2015). Today, although the prevalence of emotion research in education seems to be relatively lower compared to many other disciplines, a considerable effort has been put on this era (Pekrun & Linnenbrick-Garcia, 2014).
Students, teachers and teacher educators being the essential agents of the educational system experience ubiquitous emotions in learning environments. Among those educational agents, teacher educators have an essential role as they are both a teacher, researcher and the community worker at the same time, so the cognitive and affective load of the abovementioned tasks seems to be more complex and perplexing for them. Therefore, the emotional experiences of teacher educators, and the reasons behind those experiences need to be explored.
The ubiquitous nature of emotions requires utilizing several methods to promote positive emotional states while lessening negative ones for teacher educators (Frenzel & Stephens, 2013). In this regard, emotion-regulation which had its origin in psychoanalytic tradition, stress and coping tradition (Gross, 1999) arose as an important construct. The term is defined by Bridges, Denham and Ganiban (2004) as “a theoretical conceptualization of physiological, behavioral, and cognitive processes that enable individuals to modulate the experience and expression of positive and negative emotions” (p. 340). Gross and John (2003) mention two main strategies to regulate one’s emotions: antecedent-focused (reappraisal) and response-focused emotion regulation (suppression). While the former one points out the things done before the arousal of emotions and leads people to change their behavior in this manner, response-focused strategies are activated after the arousal of emotions to monitor their response tendencies (Gross & John, 2003). Besides, reappraisers have been found to experience and express more positive and less negative emotions, be willing to share their both positive and negative emotions with others. Suppressors, on the other hand, have been found to experience and express less positive more negative emotions, and unwilling to share their both positive and negative emotions (Gross & John, 2003).
The research on university teachers’ emotions and emotion-regulation employed various methodologies regarding data collection and analyses. The studies mostly focused on the perceived emotions of university teachers during teaching and learning process (Cowie, 2011; Postareff & Lindblom-Ylänne, 2011; Hagenauer &Volet, 2014b; Trigwell,2012), interaction with their colleagues and the institution (Cowie, 2011), and the adopted strategies of teacher educators to regulate their emotions (Hagenauer, Glaser-Zikuda &Volet, 2016; Hagenauer &Volet, 2014a; Hagenauer & Volet, 2014b).
This study was conducted to have a deeper insight about teacher educators’ emotions and emotion-regulation strategies in their professional lives. The results of such a study could be helpful in designing and implementing intervention programs at university settings to lessen the degree of negative emotions and promote positive emotional experiences of teacher educators. The research questions included the following:
- What emotions do teacher educators experience in teaching process, interaction with students, performing academic and community work activities?
- How are teacher educators’ emotions shaped through teaching process, interaction with students, performing academic and community work activities?
- What are the strategies used by teacher educators to regulate their emotions experienced in teaching process, academic and community work activities?
A phenomenological approach was employed to inquire into lived experiences of teacher educators about the phenomenon of “emotion” and their emotion-regulation strategies during their professional academic lives. The units of analysis were teacher educators at a state university from Midwestern of Turkey. Using Patton (2002)’s typology, criterion sampling served the main selection strategy to include the key informants based on predetermined criteria and to portray their perceptions about the phenomena thoroughly within this variance (Patton, 2002; Marshall & Rosmann, 2006). The main selection criteria were working at a research-intensive university, offering a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses, and holding different positions in the university. Accordingly, the sample constitutes six teacher educators from Educational Sciences Department of a state university from Midwestern of Turkey. Until now, the researchers interviewed with four teacher educators. They were female holding different faculty positions ranging from assistant professor to full professor. Besides, years of teaching experiences ranged from 3 to 27 years. They have offered different courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels. The data were collected through in-depth semi-structured interviews to obtain extensive information to describe the phenomenon (Rubin & Rubin, 2005) and to figure out individuals’ own perspectives, and concentrate on their personal stories and histories (Patton, 2002). The interview schedule was developed by the researchers through a comprehensive literature review and expert assessment. It included questions on demographic information and emotions of teacher educators, potential sources of emotions and strategies to regulate them. The data were analyzed through content analyses that involved initial conceptual coding, thematically coding based on initial codes, organizing the raw data based on codes and themes, describing and interpreting meaningful patterns regarding the research questions (Bogdan & Biklen, 2003) Besides, the overall quality of the research was judged by its trustworthiness, so several strategies were utilized, respectively. In this regard, expert opinions were obtained from two experts with a PhD degree in the field after developing the interview schedule; persistent observations were provided by collecting accurate and relevant data through in-depth semi-structured interviews and generating their verbatim transcripts. The prolonged engagement was established during data collection and analysis procedures. Peer debriefing was carried out by consulting an expert in qualitative research. Lastly, thick description of the phenomenon was assured by providing relevant quotations from the interview data (Marshall & Rossman, 2006; Miles & Huberman, 1994).
Considering the experienced emotions, teacher educators described excitement, pleasure, enjoyment, hope, happiness, enthusiasm, pride, satisfaction and relief as positive emotions. They also expressed anger, disappointment, sadness, frustration, hopelessness, unhappiness, anxiety, boredom, annoyance, nervousness, loneliness, exhaustion, resentment, fatigue and stress as negative emotions. The arousal of positive emotions were related to students’ engagement and preparedness for the course, students’ interaction with the instructor and their peers, students’ use of questioning, students’ utilization of different learning sources, heterogeneity of their thoughts, positive feedbacks of students, teacher educators’ motivation toward teaching process, planning and conducting a research, mutual working of teacher educators, acceptance or publication of an article, attending conferences, students’ theses defenses, observation of practical implications of their own researches, the possibility of changing something and the feeling of making contribution to the academy. On the other hand, the experience of negative emotions were related to the conflict among the expectations and the reality, students’ disinterest, unpreparedness and non-attendance to education courses, dealing with students’ unethical behaviors, students’ lack of intellectual interest and curiosity, unfair treatment in academia, uncertainty and unfairness in tenure process, negative communication among colleagues, power relations or authoritarian structure of NGO’s and the sustainability problem on community work. Finally, teacher educators have been using several strategies to regulate their emotions such as hiding or ignoring negative emotions to mask their inner states and sharing their negative and positive feelings with their students and colleagues. Therefore, they displayed the qualities of both reappraisers and suppressors. Additionally, focusing on the task or directing their enthusiasm toward the task, keeping diary, employing reflective writing, evaluating the situation or analyzing the case systematically, using some mediation techniques, and displaying procrastination behaviors were stated to be some other emotion-regulation strategies.
Bogdan R. C. & Biklen, S. K. (2003). Qualitative research for education: An introduction to theory and methods. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Bridges, L. J., Denham, S. A., & Ganiban, J. M. (2004). Definitional issues in emotion regulation research. Journal of Child Development, 75, 2,340-345. Cowie, N. (2011). Emotions that experienced English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers feel about their students, their colleagues and their work. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27, 235-242. Frenzel, A. C., & Stephens, E. J. (2013). Emotions. In N. C. Hall, & T. Goetz (Eds.), Emotion, motivation, and self-regulation: A handbook for teachers (pp. 1-56).Bingley, UK: Emerald. Gross, J. J. (1999). Emotion regulation: past, present, future. Cognition and Emotion, 13(5), 551-573. Gross, J. J. & John, O. P. (2003). Individual differences in two emotion regulation processes: Implications for affect, relationships, and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85(2), 348-362. Hagenauer, G. , Glaser-Zikuda, M. ,& Volet, S. E. (2016). University teachers’ perception of appropriate emotion display and high-quality teacher-studnet relationship similarities and differences across cultural-educational contextx. Frontline Learning Research, 4(3), 44-74. Hagenauer, G & Volet, S. E. (2014a). “I don’t hide my feelings, even though I try to”: insight into teacher educator emotion display. Australian Educational Researcher, 41, 261-281. Hagenauer, G & Volet, S. E. (2014b). “I don’t think, I could, you know, just teach without any emotion”: exploring the nature and origin of university teachers’ emotions. Research Papers in Emotion, 29(2), 240-262. Marshall, C., & Rossman, G.B. (2006). Designing qualitative research (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage. Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Pekrun, R. & Linnenbrick-Garcia, L. (2014). Introduction to emotions in education. In R. Pekrun & L. Linnenbrick-Garcia (Eds) International handbook of emotions in education (pp.1-10). New York: Routledge. Postareff, L. & Lindblom-Ylannes, S. (2011). Emotions and confidence within teaching in higher education. Studies in Higher Education, 36 (7), 799-813. Sutton, R. E., & Wheatley, K. F. (2003). Teachers' emotions and teaching: a review of the literature and directions for future research. Educational Psychology Review, 15(4), 327-358. Trigwell, K. (2012). Relations between teachers’ emotions in teaching and their approaches to teaching in higher education. Instructional Science, 40 (3), 607-621.
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