Teacher educators’ emotions: a phenomenological study of university teachers’ emotional experiences

2018-09-07
Calik, Basak
Yıldırım, Ali
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?
Citation Formats
B. Calik and A. Yıldırım, “Teacher educators’ emotions: a phenomenological study of university teachers’ emotional experiences,” presented at the European Educational Research Association Conference (ECER) (4 - 07 Eylül 2018), 2018, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: https://eera-ecer.de/previous-ecers/ecer-2018-bolzano/.