Emotion and School: Understanding how the Hidden Curriculum Influences Relationships, Leadership, Teaching, and Learning: Volume 18


Table of contents

(22 chapters)
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“The field of emotions has grown in the study of teaching and teachers’ judgments, and this much needed collection edited by Melissa Newberry, Andrea Gallant and Philip Riley is an important contribution to that body of work. It brings together significant new work on trust and social contracts in social policy; on the contributions of neurobiology to the interconnectedness of cognitive and affective domains in learning; on the challenges of emotional labor and self-regulation in teaching and of the wounds accompanying the emotional labor of leadership; on the importance of positive collegial relationships and of teacher preparation and development processes for teacher identity and effectiveness; and on the surprising contributions of new technology to positive emotional developments in teaching and learning.”

Educational reform today is being ruled by hyper-rationality. Tyrannies of imposed reform, and technologies of individualized online learning, are separating learners and their teachers from their feelings, their fellow teachers and learners, and their future purposes and dreams. Curriculum standards, accountability, performance evaluations, targets and testing – all these assume a rational, linear system of delivery that can be broken down into the granular organization and administration of cognitively managed technical tasks. Nowhere is this more evident than in the domination of reform thinking and practice by data-driven improvement and accountability.

We know a good deal today about how our brains construct emotions. The new fields of interpersonal neurobiology and affective neuroscience are challenging many of our conventional understandings, particularly the notion that thinking and feeling are separate operations and that it is the teacher's primary task to engage students in the former. This chapter addresses some of the findings of recent research on basic emotion command systems, emotional style, neural resonance and neuroplasticity, arguing that we can no longer ignore the evidence that our students’ cognition, emotion and bodily health are fundamentally connected. The arguments for a holistic approach to education are exceedingly robust and have neuropsychological research findings to support them.

Emotions are complex concepts involving multiple systems within the body and mind. How, when and for what purpose emotions are expressed is based on context and relationships. In this chapter I take a relational view of emotion and emotion regulation as applied in classroom settings. I first discuss the concepts of emotion and emotion regulation before exploring the physical, social and psychological processes involved in both producing and regulating emotions. Although teachers use, respond to and regulate emotions as part of their everyday work, I suggest that teachers are underprepared for the extent of the emotion work they encounter, or the cost it may have on their emotional reserves. The requirements to successfully navigate emotions in today's educational environment are underappreciated. Only when we acknowledge the relational and cognitive tasks required of teachers under the demand of multiple relationships and the constraints of the responsibilities placed upon them can we fully appreciate the magnitude of the endeavour.

Like other academic fields, educational policy is being reviewed for the affective component. Analysis is occurring in two forms: (a) the affects of education policy on education, school leaders, teachers and student learning outcomes and (b) text analysis of specific education policies. This chapter explores the representation of emotions in education policy texts, drawing on a theory of social contracts (Rawolle & Vadeboncoeur, 2003; Yeatman, 1996) as a way to explore what is being conveyed to administrators and teachers. This chapter considers the way in which emotions are represented in education policy, through social contract analysis. Social contracts are underpinned by three underlying conditions: consent to be a part of a contract, points of renegotiation through the duration of the contract and mutual accountability to those involved.

The phenomenon of teachers taking on leadership tasks beyond their classroom duties has become widespread internationally. Although presented as a catalyst for school improvement and professional development, the practices and experiences of teacher leaders are more complex than that. The change in roles blurs the traditional division between teaching and leading and therefore challenges the conventional professional relationships in schools. We conducted semi-structured interviews of 28 ‘teacher leaders’ in Flemish primary and secondary schools. We explored their perceptions and evaluation of their position in schools as well as the way their position and role as teacher leaders affected their professional relations with teacher colleagues and school leaders. The results demonstrate how the introduction of new positions and roles in the school as an organisation affects the professional relationships and collegiality. From a micro-political perspective, we show that the new positions also create emotional labour for the teacher leaders, since they find themselves juggling two different agendas of professional interests: on the one hand, receiving recognition by others of their position as teacher leaders, while on the other hand maintaining their former social–professional relationships as teachers with their former colleagues.

The emotions of the aspirant leader are underexplored. In this chapter, we detail how aspirants experience the transition from teacher to leader and report on the kinds of emotional labour associated with the transition. This was examined during events of high emotional arousal for 130 school aspirants: when they felt professionally wounded, either by colleagues, leaders, parents or students. During a time of wounding, emotional work and emotional labour hinged on the dissonance between ‘display rules’ of the school and what aspirants’ actually felt. Exploring the wounding stories revealed common display rules, which were often broken. Breaking these rules always had consequences and emotional correlates. The most prevalent form of emotional labour was surface acting. The final discovery was the resilience of the aspirants as they recovered. Invariably, aspirants progressed through an emotion cycle of Regrouping, Recovery and Resolution. The quality of collegial relationships was the key to resolving the woundings.

In this chapter, the professional knowledge landscape of schools is explored for its shaping effect on the life satisfaction and morale of teachers. Knowledge communities, those associations and relationships that teachers experience as they navigate life in schools, is the conceptual lens that is used. Two teacher stories are explored. Both narratives reveal emotional and relationship influences on teachers as they find, build and work in knowledge communities. Knowledge community interactions, in turn, help them to understand the issues of their school community and support their survival on the larger professional landscape. This chapter uses narrative inquiry to analyse the stories that the teachers in the two exemplars (one Canadian; one American) lived and relived, told and re-told. Finally, serial interpretation allows for the unearthing of encompassing ideas which cut across both narratives and make visible common themes worthy of research attention.

The field experience placement is an integral part of teacher education programmes. It is ostensibly meant to provide a place for teacher candidates to enact pedagogical theory gained during coursework under the supervision of an experienced host teacher. In reality, the field placement is a source of considerable tension for teacher candidates, as they struggle to reconcile their prior assumptions about teaching and learning and their prior identities as students with the demands of school culture that requires teachers and students to act in particular ways. The field experience is emotional work that has a considerable impact on the development of new teachers’ identities. In this chapter I will focus on how two new teachers learn during the field experience placement, with a particular emphasis on the roles of emotion and the development of professional identity in learning to teach. Cultural–historical activity theory (CHAT) will provide a useful lens to interpret some of the challenges of learning to teach during the field placement.

In this chapter, a model to understand teachers’ professional identity, appraisals and behaviours in the classroom is presented and illustrated with empirical data. It is argued that the comparison between interpersonal identity standards and interpersonal appraisals of classroom situations results in two types of emotions experienced by teachers. One type of emotion is the direct result of teachers’ interpretations of, and coping with, specific classroom events whereby their emotions are part of the appraisal process of situations and evaluated in the light of their interpersonal role identity standards. The second type of emotion emerges as a result of tensions or dilemmas of prolonged differences between appraisals and identity standards. It is argued that the Teacher Interpersonal Identity Role and Appraisal model is helpful for both researchers and practitioners to better understand, recognise and support beginning (and experienced) teachers with emotions that occur in the classroom, and to help stimulate both their personal as well as professional development.

Teachers are constantly involved in emotional management. This chapter focuses on two second year teachers and the self-conscious emotional work of teaching. Both teachers were working in a prep (5-year-olds) class. The teachers engaged in The Participatory Inquiry Program (PIP), which is framed by active and critical reflections on classroom practices. The teachers collaborated with each other, firstly filming the other's practice, and then acting as a critical peer when reviewing the other's film. Teachers also examined internal feelings and thought processes that influenced their actions. The teachers concluded their participation in PIP by narrating their experience and learning. These narratives were then analysed by focusing on how they became cognisant of emotion and emotion regulation that enhances practice and learning outcomes. Emotion work for these two teachers revolved around three key themes: the emotion work with regard to colleagues; the emotional work that arises in relation to students (feelings of love; annoyance, anger), and emotion and self-awareness.

Caring is an important component of K-12 teaching and learning. An increasing number of K-12 students are enrolling in online courses. The physical separation of students and teachers in the online medium requires a change in the way caring relationships are formed. In this chapter we examine how teachers worked to develop caring relationships with students at the Open High School of Utah, an online charter high school in the United States. Data collection consisted of 22 interviews with 11 instructors. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using constant comparison coding methods. Findings indicate that teachers were able to implement all aspects of Nodding's model of moral education in ways unique to online contexts, and at times with more depth than experienced in a face-to-face context.

How classrooms are formed and managed sets the foundation for emotional and intellectual well-being. A person-centred learning environment balances the needs of both the teacher and the learner, utilizing shared responsibility, cooperative leadership and caring. Built on humanistic principles, this chapter examines the effects of a person-centred classroom management programme, Consistency Management & Cooperative Discipline® (CMCD®), on the school climate of two large secondary schools in England, the use of which represented a shift in philosophy and practice from primarily behaviouristic to instructional and person-centred approaches to classroom management. The changes in school climate over multiple years demonstrate both the problems schools can create and the potential solutions, when students and their teachers receive the care they need to flourish.

Teaching is increasingly recognised as a complex, demanding career. Teachers experience higher levels of stress and burnout than other professionals. The career is subject to heightened levels of public scrutiny and yet offers only modest rewards in the form of social status and income. Drawing on a typological model of coping styles among a diverse sample of German health professionals, we identified six types of emotional coping (Good health, Sparing, (healthy) Ambitious, (path to) Burnout, Diligent, and Wornout) among a longitudinal sample of 612 Australian primary and secondary teachers. A significant outcome of our study was the empirical differentiation between burned out and wornout teachers. This extends the literature on teacher burnout and offers new directions to the study of ‘at risk’ beginning teachers.

The past decade has witnessed a growing appreciation of the role of emotions in cognition, motivation, decision-making and many other areas of research in psychology and education. This chapter draws upon the contents of the book as well as other sources to consider three questions: What emotions do teachers experience in schools and what shapes those emotions? How do emotions and relationships affect life in classrooms? What should be done to incorporate this knowledge into teacher education? Given the powerful role that emotions and relationships play in teaching and learning, it is critical for teacher education in both preservice and inservice settings to support the development of knowledge and skills for emotional self-regulation and the nurturing of relationships in classrooms.

As outlined in these chapters, pre-service teachers, beginning teachers, experienced teachers, teacher leaders and aspirant leaders all face the growing demands of emotional labour and are engaged in the emotional work that underpins learning environments. The ‘false apprenticeship’ (Bullock, 2013) highlights how teacher education remains historically problematic, with its focus on observation for replication, rather than the development of an individual's capability. Educators need to be enabled to refocus their attention on developing professional capital (Hargreaves & Fullan, 2012). According to Hargreaves and Fullan (2012) there are three elements that produce professional capital, these are human capital, social capital and decisional capital. The presence of all three is vital for a healthy productive education system. The education system is made up of people and education is for the people. Society and future societies rely on professional capital being promoted within education.

Douwe Beijaard, PhD, is full professor and director of the Eindhoven School of Education, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands. His current research themes are the professional identity, quality and development of (beginning) teachers, as well as teachers’ roles in educational innovations.

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Advances in Research on Teaching
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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