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How three Tasmanian teachers use and respond to emotion in the secondary English classroom


MacDonald, A and Baguley, M, How three Tasmanian teachers use and respond to emotion in the secondary English classroom, Proceedings of the 2011 Australian Association for Research in Education Conference, 27 November - 1 December 2011, Hobart, Tasmania, pp. 1-15. ISSN 1324-9320 (2011) [Refereed Conference Paper]


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This paper explores how three secondary English teachers use and respond to emotion in the classroom. By examining the perceptions and experiences of three experienced teachers, valuable insights can be gained in relation to the significance and subsequent impact of these teachers' own emotions, their students' emotions and the value and significance of emotion in the secondary English discipline. According to Arnon and Reichel (2007), programs for teacher education are being 'extensively challenged and intensively re-worked' (p. 443). This evolution in teacher education is, at least in part, the result of changing perspectives of both the 'ideal' teacher and the most appropriate means of preparing trainee teachers for the demands of the modern classroom (Arnon & Reichel, 2007; Cochran-Smith & Fries, 2001). One of these demands was clearly articulated in the findings of the Australian Scholarships Group (ASG) Student Social and Emotional Health Report (Bernard, Stephanou, & Urbach, 2007). It revealed that 'significant percentages of students are experiencing social and emotional difficulties during their schooling' (p. 5), a finding which supports the contention that greater emphasis must be placed upon 'the significance of students' social and emotional health and wellbeing during teacher training' (Bernard, 2007, p. 122). The findings of this study are particularly relevant for English teachers, given that English is the only compulsory subject in which teachers have significant opportunity to nurture emotional development and understanding, which has been shown to be of significant benefit to increasing student motivation, engagement and cognitive development. This is not to suggest that other opportunities for the nurturing and development of emotional development and understanding can not occur within broader aspects of personal and social learning; rather this is acknowledging the unique opportunity that exists for this to occur within subject English. Secondary English teachers need to recognise the implications of emotion within their classroom and the means by which it might be effectively utilised to benefit secondary English learning. This integration must be more than a small challenge to the oft repeated dictum that a new teacher 'should not smile before Easter', for an understanding of the role of emotion must underpin the entire educative experience. For as Sutton (2005) states, 'teachers' emotional experiences and expression influence their classroom effectiveness' (p. 232) and thus they will inform their professional practice from their very first days in the classroom. This paper provides insights into the significance of how these experiences and expressions specifically impact upon secondary English classroom teaching practice and learning. By examining their perceptions and experiences we can gain valuable insights into the value and significance of emotion into secondary English in the classroom context.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Education systems
Research Field:Teacher education and professional development of educators
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Teaching and curriculum
Objective Field:Teacher and instructor development
UTAS Author:MacDonald, A (Dr Abbey MacDonald)
ID Code:77039
Year Published:2011
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2012-03-16
Last Modified:2014-12-23
Downloads:235 View Download Statistics

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