Published:  2018

A Quantitative Exploration of Two Teachers with Contrasting Emotions: Intra-Individual Process Analyses of Physiology and Interpersonal Behavior

Authors:  Monika H. Donker, Tamara van Gog, M. Tim Mainhard

Tags:  Correlation, Emotional Response, Foreign Countries, Physiology, Secondary School Teachers, Teacher Behavior, Teacher Burnout, Teacher Characteristics, Teacher Student Relationship, Teaching Conditions

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Although the association between teacher-student relations, teacher emotions, and burnout has been proven on a general level, we do not know the exact processes underlying these associations. Recently there has been a call for intra-individual process measures that assess what happens from moment-to-moment in class in order to better understand inter-individual differences in emotions and burnout between teachers. This paper explored the use of process measures of teachers’ heart rate and their interpersonal behavior during teaching. Our aim was to illustrate different ways of analyzing and combining physiological and observational time-series data and to explore their potential for understanding between-teacher differences. In this illustration, we focused on two teachers who represented contrasting cases in terms of their self-reported teaching-related emotions (i.e., anxiety and relaxation) and burnout. We discuss both univariate process analyses (i.e., trend, autocorrelation, stability) as well as state-of-the-art multivariate process analyses (i.e., cross-correlations, dynamic structural equation modeling). Results illustrate how the two teachers differed in the nature of their physiological responses, their interpersonal behavior, and the association between these two process measures over time. Along implications and suggestions for further research, it is discussed how the process-based, dynamic assessment of physiology and interpersonal behavior may ultimately help to understand differences in more general teaching-related emotions and burnout.