University of Oulu

A job filled with emotions : a narrative study on the emotional dimensions and related emotional intelligence in class teachers’ work

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Author: Yao-Juntunen, Lusi1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
Pages: 65
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : L. Yao-Juntunen, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-01-16
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Jokikokko, Katri
Reviewer: Jokikokko, Katri
Uitto, Minna
This master’s thesis attempts to empirically examine the connection between emotional intelligence and the teaching profession.  There  has  been  a growing  amount of quantitative or mixed methods research demonstrating the solid interrelation between teachers’ emotional intelligence and teaching profession. However, the concern of teachers’ emotional intelligence and its corresponding actions requires more empirical researches. Thus, the focus of this narrative research  lies  on finding out how three  Finnish  class teachers  describe  the role of emotions  and the emotional experiences  in  their work. Teachers’ stories are analyzed from the perspective of emotional intelligence. The theoretical framework of this thesis is based on Goleman’s theory of emotional intelligence, and the justification of applying Goleman’s theory is  made  along  with other influential  theory constructs.  Furthermore, this thesis  aims to explore how the emotional dimensions in teachers’ work can  be seen in light of  emotional intelligence particularly in terms of Goleman’s EI construct. Methodologically, this master’s thesis applies the principles of narrative inquiry. The data has been collected by interviewing three class teachers  with varied teaching experiences. The  teachers  also work  in different classroom contexts  –  a regular Finnish mainstream classroom, an  international  school  classroom and a preparatory classroom.  This master’s thesis applies the holistic-content reading  approach in  data analysis process; each interview is analyzed individually. By using this method, the analysis results  provide a  two-dimensional finding  for each interview. The first dimension offers an overview or general impression of each teacher’s emotional  experience related to work. The  second-dimension  reveals more specific themes related to emotional  dimensions in teachers’ work from the perspective of emotional intelligence. The findings of the thesis suggest  that  the  class teachers  describe  the  emotional dimensions  in  their work in a similar way,  although emphasizing  different  emotional  aspects. These teachers display  their  acknowledgement of  the critical role of emotions  through their living experience and reflections. They  recognize  the  urge  for teachers to acquire  the set of substantial skills  which are embedded  in  Goleman’s  emotional intelligence  theory: self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, motivation and social skills.  Furthermore, the findings of this empirical thesis reveal that teachers’ working environment is an emotional place. The teaching job is argued to be an emotional  labor which is far  beyond  simply delivering a lesson. Related to the importance of emotions in teachers’ work, teacher wellbeing as  another  major theme emerges from the findings. Therefore, this  master’s thesis  aims  to  raise awareness of the significance of emotions in teachers’ work and shred lights on both pre-service and in-service teachers’ need of developing  emotional intelligence as teaching proficiency. Nevertheless, promoting  teacher  wellbeing in the profession  should also be essential and prevalent.  
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Copyright information: © Lusi Yao-Juntunen, 2019. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.