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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Teachers’ beliefs about emotions in the classroom : relations to teacher characteristics and implementation of a social-emotional learning program Hanson, Jennifer Lynn


The aim of this descriptive study was to examine teachers’ beliefs about emotions in the classroom and factors related to these beliefs, namely teacher background characteristics and the implementation of an emotion-focused social-emotional learning (SEL) program – the Roots of Empathy (ROE). Participants included 58 elementary school teachers from a Western Canadian city (n = 40) and the Isle of Man (n = 18) who hosted the ROE program or comprised the control group. Participants completed self-report measures assessing emotion beliefs (Bonds, Expressiveness, Instruction/Modeling, Protect, and Display/Control), background characteristics (grade level taught and years of teaching experience), and ROE program implementation (number of subject areas and frequency). Results indicated grade level taught (primary versus intermediate) and years of teaching experience were significantly related to some emotion beliefs dimensions. Instruction/Modeling beliefs were significantly higher for experienced teachers than novice teachers. Protect beliefs were significantly higher for primary grade teachers than intermediate grade teachers. Display/Control beliefs were significantly higher for intermediate grade teachers than primary grade teachers. Particular emotion beliefs were also significantly associated with teachers’ reports of ROE program implementation. Teachers’ Expressiveness beliefs were positively correlated with the frequency with which they implemented activities. Teachers’ Protect beliefs were negatively correlated with, and Display/Control beliefs were positively correlated with, the number of subject areas in and frequency with which implementation occurred. These findings support and extend research investigating teacher-related factors associated with implementation. Suggestions concerning the need for SEL training and support are made to enhance the effectiveness of emotion-focused SEL programs.

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