Understanding Indonesian primary school teachers' social-emotional practice : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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Massey University
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Teaching and learning is an emotional experience and teachers play a crucial role in the nature of this experience. There is consistent evidence that shows a significant relationship between teachers’ emotion, emotion regulation and social-emotional skills, and students’ emotional, social and academic outcomes (Jennings & Greenberg, 2009). However, little is known about teachers’ emotional style, especially in an Indonesian context. This thesis aims to explore the underlying dimensions of the Indonesian primary school teachers’ socialemotional practices. A mixed-methods research design was employed. The first, qualitative research phase was conducted using classroom observations, focus group discussions and individual interviews. Twelve Indonesian primary school teachers who were nominated as having excellent social and emotional skills and 45 students were recruited for this phase. The observation notes and teachers’ and students’ statements were transcribed verbatim. A thematic approach was used for data analysis. Key emergent themes included teachers’ relational philosophies about their work, teachers’ sense of duty to nurture students, teachers’ strategies to regulate their emotions and teachers’ attempts to establish classroom harmony. Based on the findings of the qualitative phase, two separate measurements to assess teachers’ social-emotional practices called Teachers’ Social-Emotional Practices – teachers’ perspectives (TSEP-T) and teachers’ social and emotional practices – and Students’ Perspectives (TSEP-S) were developed. Subsequently, in Study 2, multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis were applied to the data to produce visual representations of the structure of teacher-perceived and student-perceived teachers’ social-emotional practices. In Study 3, the nature of teachers’ social-emotional practices was further investigated by administering TSEP-T to 90 teachers and TSEP-S to 333 students. From teachers’ data, five highly applicable clusters of social-emotional behaviours across five style patterns were identified, while from students’ data, eight highly applicable clusters of teachers’ social-emotional behaviours across ten style patterns were identified. Finally, the associations between the identified clusters and styles with a student-teacher relationship, student connectedness and wellbeing were explored using ANOVA. The findings across three phases of the study showed the Indonesian teachers’ social-emotional practices as comprising relational philosophy, emotional relationship, nurturing, emotion regulation and classroom harmony dimensions. The resulting dimensions were visually represented using “a jasmine flower” model, which allows this model to be discussed and expanded. Findings are compared and contrasted with existing literature and discussed with regard to the potential usefulness of teachers’ social-emotional styles for enhancing the teacher-student relationship, student connectedness and wellbeing. Implications based on these findings are considered for researchers and educational providers who together share responsibility for improving teachers’ social-emotional practices in primary classrooms.
Teaching, Indonesia, Psychological aspects, Practice, Effective teaching, Elementary school teachers, Attitudes