Student mapping of Singaporean teachers' social-emotional skills : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Masters of Educational Psychology, Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

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Massey University
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Hargreaves (2000) argued that emotions were central to teaching practices. However, research investigating how emotions are best used in teaching is still in its infancy and very little research has examined this issue from the perspective of students. Harvey, Bimler, Evans, Kirkland and Pechtel (2012) sought to address this issue when they organised teachers' social-­‐emotional skills into a three-­‐dimensional model. As Harvey et al. developed this model in the New Zealand and German contexts, it primarily drew on teachers’ perspectives in a Western context. Further research is required to evaluate social-­‐emotional skills that teachers use from students' perspectives in a non-­‐ western setting. Two studies were conducted to achieve this. Eighty-­‐eight descriptions of social-­‐emotional skills (known as items) were generated in Study 1, based on Harvey and Evans’ 2003 study, Harvey et al.’s 2012 study, and a recent review of the literature. Using these 88 items, a sorting task was conducted with Singaporean participants to cluster and organise groups of items, in order to validate Harvey et al.'s (2012) model in the Singaporean context. Using the three-­‐dimensional solution developed in Study 1, the focus of Study 2 was to identify key emotional practices and idiographic response styles. Eighty-­‐eight Singaporean students completed a rating task to identify what social-­‐emotional behaviours their teacher practised. Eight “hotspots” or highly applicable clusters of social-­‐emotional skills were identified as salient to teachers’ practices. Furthermore, analysis revealed that teachers' response profiles against these hotspots could be separated into five patterns. Overall, the results partially validate Harvey et al.’s 2012 model both within the Singaporean context and from students’ perspectives, thus supporting its applicability across cultures and stakeholders. Specifically, support is added to the notion that teachers’ social-­‐ emotional practices can be identified and established into profiles. These findings make an initial step toward being able to identify students’ preferences in teacher social-­‐emotional skills and these skills can be utilised in future teacher training programmes.
Teachers' emotions, Emotions in teaching, Social-emotional skills, Students' perspectives, Teachers, Singapore, Emotional behaviour, Teacher behaviour