The emotional knowledge of teachers: a hidden part of the iceberg

Pugh, Eamonn (2018) The emotional knowledge of teachers: a hidden part of the iceberg. In: LED Research Centre Teacher Inquiry Conference: Developing Research Informed Practice, 23 May 2018, University of Cumbria, Carlisle, UK. (Unpublished)

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Emotional aspects of teaching impact upon teacher resilience, classroom relationships and pupil learning. It is paradoxical that emotional knowledge is used to make teacher decisions but is otherwise ignored in the literature published to guide and stimulate teachers. Reporting on a piece of practitioner research, this paper shines a light on the concept of teachers’ emotional knowledge, building a picture of how it was understood and used by the teacher participants. The presentation has relevance to pre-service and in-service teachers, including those with an interest in the development of leadership qualities. Informed by research into emotional competence (Boyzatis and Goleman, 2005) and emotional knowledge of teaching (Zembylas, 2007) a theoretical model was constructed and tested. This emotional knowledge framework comprised categories grouped into four quadrants: self-awareness, social awareness, self-management and relationship management. During school placements, an opportunity sample of eleven primary postgraduate student teachers and their school-based mentors contributed written reflections and reports, a focus group and individual interviews. In a qualitative interpretivist approach using thematic analysis (Braun and Clarke, 2013), their responses were coded and triangulated using ATLAS.ti software across data sets. Initial findings were that student teachers’ emotional knowledge exists, it is interrelated to emotional ecologies and was positively correlated with critical reflection, behaviour management, building trusting and respectful relationships within the class and school. Another pattern emerging from the data led to a reframed model that recognises teacher knowledge being transformed into emotional knowledge and visa versa (Bratianu and Orzea, 2014). This dynamic relationship challenges the iceberg metaphor – emotional knowledge should also, like cognitive teacher knowledge, become explicit and visible. The presentation will share this re-theorised model of emotional knowledge, offering it as a tool to help teachers to deal with their own emotions and those of others.

Boyatzis, R. and Goleman, D. (2007) Emotional and Social Competence Inventory (ESCI) version 3 Boston: Hay Group.
Brătianu C and Orzea I (2014) Emotional knowledge: the hidden part of the knowledge iceberg, Management Dynamics in the Knowledge Economy 2 (1): pp.41-56.
Braun V and Clarke V (2013) Successful qualitative research: a practical guide for beginners, London: Sage.
Zembylas M (2007) Emotional ecology: the intersection of emotional knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge in teaching, Teaching and Teacher Education 23 (4): pp. 355-367.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Workshop)
Departments: Academic Departments > Institute of Education (IOE) > Primary PGCE
Depositing User: Eamonn Pugh
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2018 10:43
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2021 13:47


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