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Managing Emotions in Teaching: Toward an Understanding of Emotion Displays and Caring as Nonprescribed Role Elements


by Izhar Oplatka — 2007

Background: Much research has sought to investigate emotions and forms of emotion management among teachers worldwide, including the connection between educational change and teacher emotion; the association between the culture of teaching and teachers’ emotional experience within parent-teacher interactions; the link between teacher emotion and teacher beliefs; and the expressions and sources of a wide variety of emotions in teaching.

Purposes: Guided by a literature that explored the nonprescribed extrarole activities in noneducation sectors, the current study aimed at understanding the position of emotion management, such as caring, compassion, and emotion displays, in the teacher’s role structure.

Population: A total of 50 teachers participated in this study, of which 40 women and 10 men represent the ratio of women to men teachers in the religiously nonobservant Jewish educational system, the largest one in Israel (66% of the K–12 students).

Research Design: Open-ended questions were used to gain the respondents’ subjective conceptualizations of organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and emotion management in teaching. Additionally, the teachers’ subjective perceptions of the context affecting their OCBs were explored.

Conclusions: Teachers’ emotion management is considered to be a discretionary, voluntary-based role element rather than a prescribed one. The teachers’ perspectives of emotion management in their role coincided with the term emotion work, which refers to situations in which employees personally choose to manage their emotions. Implications for teacher education and further research are suggested.



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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 109 Number 6, 2007, p. 1374-1400
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 13099, Date Accessed: 10/18/2017 1:53:41 AM

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About the Author
  • Izhar Oplatka
    Ben-Gurion University
    E-mail Author
    IZHAR OPLATKA is a senior lecturer in the Department of Education, Division of Educational Administration, Ben-Gurion University, Israel. His current research interests include the lives and careers of teachers and principals, gender in educational administration, and educational marketing.
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