04 SES 12 A, Teachers' emotions & perceptions of parents' involvement and diverse classroom-management
Paper/Ignite Talk Session
Emotions are an integral part of teachers’ work. Most of the positive emotions reported by teachers arise from their self-efficacy as teachers (Hagenauer, Hascher & Volet, 2015; Yuan & Lee, 2016) as well as.their interaction with pupils such as perceiving student progress, learning to know students as individuals and observing student engagement in class (Hagenauer & Volet 2014; Hagenauer, Hascher & Volet, 2015; Hargreaves 2000, Kimura 2010; Sutton 2005; Yuan & Lee, 2016). Similarly, teachers' strongest negative feelings have been found to be related to students’ participation such as their passivity, lack of motivation or misbehaviour in the classroom (Acheson, Taylor, & Luna, 2016; Cross & Hong 2012; Hagenauer, Hascher & Volet, 2015; Hagenauer & Volet 2014; Kimura 2010, Kitching 2009, Sutton 2005).
Despite a large repertoire of both positive and negative emotions experienced by teachers, the expressions of these emotions are typically regulated in classroom (Tainio & Laine, 2015). The emotion display norms refer to explicit or implicit rules on what kinds of emotions and how it is appropriate to express in certain situations (Sutton, Mudrey-Camino & Knight 2009; Schutz 2014; Hagenauer & Volet 2014b; Kitching 2009; Schutz 2014). Earlier studies have reported that teachers have usually hardly any problems with expressing positive feelings (Hagenauer & Volet 2014b; Schutz 2014) or even exaggerating them (e.g. enthusiasm) to create a positive learning atmosphere and to increase students’ learning motivation (Acheson, Taylor, & Luna 2016; Sutton, Mudrey-Camino & Knight 2009). Instead, the regulation of negative feelings is often considered a part of the teachers' professional neutrality. Therefore, teachers have been found to aim at suppressing their natural negative emotional reactions by ignoring the problems, faking positive emotions, focusing on positive student activities or trying to interpret situations from a positive perspective (Acheson, Taylor, & Luna, 2016; Yin, 2016; Sutton 2005; Hagenauer & Volet 2014b; Kimura 2010; Schutz 2014). However, the genuine expression of negative emotions may also sometimes serve the purpose of fulfilling teaching goals by modeling appropriate emotional communication skills for students or by normalizing various emotional experiences (Zinsser, Denham, Curby & Shewark, 2015; Yin, 2016).
Previous research results on teacher emotions have been mainly received by interviewing teachers concerning their practices. Instead, little is known about the details of the actual sequences through which teachers display their emotions in classroom interactions in natural classroom settings. Therefore, this study aims to add to the earlier literature by offering close observational analyses of the ways in which Finnish class teachers and special education teachers refer to their own emotions in classroom interaction and the functions which these utterances serve.
The study is based on the principles of applied conversation analysis (CA) (Heritage, 2009). In CA terms, teachers’ emotion expressions are above all social signals and communication acts, which are used to serve some functions in classroom interaction and which are also publically managed and oriented to somehow by both teachers and students (see Ruusuvuori, 2013). Therefore, the focus is on how teachers use emotion displays as an instructional resource and what are the consequences of teacher talk about their emotions for student participation in the class. The research questions are the following: 1) How do class teachers and special education teachers talk about their emotions in classroom interaction? and 2) What kinds of functions do teachers’ emotion talk serve in the classroom interaction?
The research data consisted of videotaped recordings of classroom interactions in five Finnish inclusive education settings (N = 31 videotaped lessons), three Finnish part-time special education settings where teaching was provided in conjunction with mainstream instruction (N = 31), and five full-time special education settings (N = 42 videotaped lessons). The settings represented both primary school level (grades 1–6) and lower secondary school level (grades 7-9). The interactions were videotaped by using two or three cameras, with one camera following the teacher and the others focusing on the students. The videotaped classroom lessons were not specifically designed for this study but rather took place as a part of the normal school day, without outside intervention in the lessons. Thus, in contrast to only interviewing teachers concerning their practices, the observation data provided an authentic opportunity to capture what actually happens in instructional interactions when teachers display their emotions and when students respond to these utterances. The data will be analysed by applying ethno-methodological conversation analysis (CA). The microanalysis of the on-going process of classroom interaction shows how teachers and students locally interpret what is going on and what is consequential in the immediate interactions. The basic principle of CA is to interpret the meanings of utterances on the basis of the next action, or later turns (Heritage, 2009). Thus, the consequences and meanings of teachers’ emotion displays are primarily concluded by examining how students and teachers interpreted each other’s intentions and responded to each other’s turns.
The analysis of the data is currently in progress. The very preliminary findings reveal an infrequent use of emotion terms in the present study, i.e., teachers seemed to avoid sharing their feelings with students especially in inclusive classrooms. When verbalizing their emotions, teachers used either the form of the first person singular or zero-person construction. In the latter case, teachers created certain emotion as a generic experience that concerns the group as a whole, not only a teacher. Teachers’ emotional expressions seemed to serve various purposes in classroom interaction such as giving positive or negative feedback on students’ behavior or learning, synchronizing their own emotions with the teaching contents or emotions of their students, providing information about oneself and one’s preferences, or normalizing students’ emotions by telling about the situations where they had felt similar emotions. The findings of this study will contribute to discussing how class teachers and special education teachers can work as a model of emotional expressions to their students. There is evidence that adults’ tendency to label mental states such as emotions and explain them to children is positively associated with children’s social-behavioral functioning, emotion understanding and socially adaptive behaviors (Bekar, Steele, Shahmoon-Shanok & Steele, 2018; Tompkins, Benigno, Lee & Wright, 2018) as well as with an emotionally supportive classroom atmosphere (King & La Paro, 2015). Therefore, the emotional reactions of teachers are especially important, and students can learn significantly from the ways in which teachers talk about both positive and negative emotions in their everyday interactions with students.
Selected references: Acheson, K., Taylor, J., & Luna, K. (2016). The burnout spiral: the emotion labor of five rural U.S. foreign language teachers. Modern Language Journal, 100(2), 522–537. Cross, D. & Hong, J. Y. 2012. An ecological examination of teachers’ emotions in the school context. Teaching and Teacher Education 28, 957—967. Hagenauer, G., Hascher, T., & Volet, S. E. 2015. Teacher emotions in the classroom: associations with students’ engagement, classroom discipline and the interpersonal teacher-student relationship. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 30, 385–403. Hagenauer, G & Volet, S. 2014. “I don’t hide my feelings, even though I try to”: insight into teacher educator emotion display. Austalian Educational Researcher 41(3), 261-281. Hargreaves, A. 2000. Mixed emotions: teachers’ perceptions of their interactions with students. Teaching and Teacher Education 16, 811–826. Heritage, J. (2009). Conversation analysis as social theory. In B. S. Turner (Ed.), The new Blackwell companion to social theory (pp. 300–320). Oxford: Blackwell. Kimura, Y. 2010. Expressing emotions in teaching: inducement, suppression, and disclosure as caring profession. Educational Studies in Japan: International Yearbook (5), 63-78. King, E., & La Paro, K. (2015). Teachers’ language in interactions: An exploratory examination of mental state talk in early childhood education. Early Education and Development, 26:2, 245–263. Kitching, K. 2009. Teachers’ negative experiences and expressions of emotion: being true to yourself or keeping you in your place? Irish Educational Studies 28 (2), 141–154. Ruusuvuori, J. (2013). Emotion, affect and conversation. In J. Sidnell & T. Stivers (Eds.), The handbook of conversation analysis (pp. 330–349). West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. Sutton, R. E., Mudrey-Camino, R. & Knight, C. C. 2009. Teachers’ emotion regulation and classroom management. Theory Into Practice 48, 130–137. Tainio, L. & Laine, A. (2015). Emotion work and affective stance in the mathematics classroom: the case of IRE sequences in Finnish classroom interaction. Educational Studies in Mathematics 89, 67–87. Yin, H. (2016). Knife-like mouth and tofu-like heart: emotion regulation by Chinese teachers in classroom teaching. Social Psychology of Education: An International Journal, 19 (1), 1-22. Yuan, R., & Lee, I. (2016). ‘I need to be strong and competent’: a narrative inquiry of a student-teacher’s emotions and identities in teaching practicum. Teachers and Teaching Theory and Practice, 22(7), 819–841. Zinsser, K. M., Denham, S. A., Curby, T. W., & Shewark, E. A. (2015). “Practice what you preach”: teachers’ perceptions of emotional competence and emotionally supportive classroom practices. Early Education and Development, 26(7), 899–919.
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