The Emotional Dimension As Part Of Pre-Service Teacher Training Programmes
Recent theoretical approaches as well as current know-how perspectives highlight the dimension of emotional culture in teacher training with a view to enhancing professionalization. Though a comprehensive in-depth investigation, emotional culture development has chartered new territories in recent years. As teacher's roles have multiplied, teaching has been understood as highly demanding. However, this may lead to increased fatigue, emotional wear-off, downgrading of the affective involvement within the school. The teacher's emotional culture divided into multi-layered emotional competencies is crucial in teaching professionalization: if not properly developed, it can trigger overwhelming conditions (mental and emotional wear-off, resentment and fears), causing further negative effects on networking and interpersonal communication. The concept of emotional culture incorporates emotional, communicative and personal-adjusting skills and competencies to ensure increased awareness, acceptance and remedial work on personal states and feelings as well as of the others, thus, enhancing productivity, networking and personal growth. Mainstream literature dwells ion-oriented mechanism in different situations, the way we use our own capabilities to understand the others and increase our self-affective control. Our paper is premised by the idea that teachers’ emotional culture is built gradually. Thus, we aim at identifying prospective trainees’ perception with regard to the importance of emotional culture development. The integration of key emotional values that fully round the contemporary teacher profile may also contribute to the learners' emotional development.
Keywords: Emotional intelligenceemotional cultureteacher professionalization
The concept of
and echoing in the 1980s in France, has gained ever increased importance in recent decades.
Framing teacher professionalization is a complex process, linking epistemological, political,
sociological, institutional and economic arguments - and materialises as a novel approach in education, a
field still lacking valid experiences and models, mainly developed by means of reflective practices
(Martinet, 2001 in Joiţa, 2008).
With reference to the phenomenon of career professionalization, Paun (2002) advocates that it is
"a process of building a set of skills and competencies within a given field, as a result of knowledge
(theoretical and practical) acquisition, a deductively controlled process via a specific pattern of a certain
Re-thinking the teacher training field, with regard to both theoretical and practical competencies,
has paved the way towards sustainable practical and theoretical arguments to support and validate the
scientific and methodological impact of certain solutions concerning teacher professionalization and the
intended profile of the teacher's competence.
Teacher's roles and the teaching-related activities are not static, but rather integrated to a dynamic
process that leads to content changes in relation to the traditional roles and the emergence of new ones.
An up-to-date vision upon the contemporary teaching career should incorporate current developments of
these roles in a consistent and solid manner (Potolea, Toma, 2013).
Nonetheless, we state that the traditional context, with its strengths and weaknesses, facilitates the
pirical validation of solutions to implement qualitative changes in teacher training.
Regardless of the paradigmatic position adopted, teacher's competence is the key concept of all
training programmes. Throughout our present study, we use the term
competence to indicate: a set of potential behaviours (cognitive, affective, andpsychomotor) enabling a
teacher to carry out educational activities efficiently. The findings of a study conducted by Langa (2014)
have lead to the identification of the importance of acquiring transversal competences by students in order
for them to become experts in the field of educational sciences. This aspect is all the more important as
persons with the same level and register of competences obtain different results in the activity, on the
In this sense, Loredana Tudor considers that the actually educational paradigms promote a new
conception on the selection and organization of contents, on the planning and organization of teaching
and learning, which consists in the fact that the methodology of curriculum elaboration requires the
educator to select, to use and to dose or to articulate all the components and stages of didactic activities
according to objectives (Tudor, 2015)
Reconsidering the teacher’s roles not only can improve the content, categories of teaching
knowledge, but also training strategies and scientific perspectives (knowledge, abilities, skills, attitudes)
in relation to the teaching profession, and, not to job of teaching, since expertise development is placed at
the intersection of a series of variables in education, professional development and academic
development. (Adey, 2004).
Conceptual Framework: Emotional Intelligence - Emotional Culture
1985. Wayne Leon Payne claimed that emotional intelligence is a skill that involves a creative
relationship with states of fear, pain and desire. Studies on emotional intelligence are relatively new, by
the turn of the 1990s.
A leading figure in the Romanian setting is Mihaela Roco, authoring "Creativitate și inteligență
emoțională” (“Creativity and Emotional Intelligence”) (2001). The author reviews the definitions of
personality. Mihaela Roco outlines three main directions in defining emotional intelligence: John D.
Mayer and Peter Salovey (1990, 1993); Reuven Bar-On (1992); Daniel Goleman (1995).
Mayer and Salovey (1990, 1993) define
interconnection between emotion and cognition. The two scholars structure specific emotional
intelligence capabilities in five areas: self-awareness of own emotions, emotion management, intrinsic
motivation, empathy and initiation and cultivation of interpersonal relations.
Reuven Bar-On (1992) outlines the following components of emotional intelligence: the
intrapersonal aspect (awareness of own emotions, optimism, respect, self-fulfilment, independence); the
interpersonal aspect (empathy, interpersonal relationships, social responsibility); adaptability (problem
solving, reality testing, flexibility); controlling stress (stress tolerance, impulse control); general attitude
D. Goleman (1995) extends the concept of
components: self-awareness, self-control, motivation, empathy, social skills.
Nowadays, as endorsed by Mihaela Roco (2001), the question of emotional intelligence is whether
to feature it as an innate potential or a set of learned skills, competencies and habits. Although emotional
intelligence is considered a relatively stable aptitude, it can be developed through special education
Emotional intelligence is also defined as the personal capacity to effectively identify and manage
one’s emotions in relation to personal goals. Thus, it acquires crucial importance in future educational
activities as it ensures the effective management of the affective energy, emotional experiences, shaping
an optimistic approach to measure one’s emotional competence potential. An undeniable outcome of the
professional culture development, emotional intelligence activates the potential to build practical skills
based on certain factors: awareness of own emotions, reactions and resources, motivation, self-control,
empathy, sociability. Emotional intelligence indicates the level achieved while transferring this potential
to professional performance ( Rusu,2012).
Emotional culture capitalises emotional intelligence from a broader perspective. In terms of
education it comprises: a) teaching outcomes - projects aimed at fulfilling psychological and socio-
affective objectives; b) specialised institutions/organisations, targeting the ideal model of a "friendly
school" c) formal and non-formal ways of communication, characterised by a specific affective condition,
compulsory in the construction and implementation of any pedagogical message.
The concept of
personal-adjusting skills to ensure increased awareness, acceptance and adjustment of personal states and
feelings as well as of the others, thus, boosting productivity, networking and personal growth.
Sorin Cristea (2016) frames the emotional culture of a teacher as a subdivision that activates
his/her cultural expressive dimension:
a) alongside the other subdivisions of the expressive dimension (cognitive, motivational,
volitional, of character);
b) provided that the expressive dimension is related to: the material dimension of the teacher's
culture, generated within the existing relationship among the outcomes of his/her teaching activity
(education, training, career orientation, classroom management, etc.) and his/her general, specific and
practical teaching culture; the institutional/corporate dimension of the teacher's culture, built and
continuously improved within the framework of the teaching process and education system, within the
school as the basic unit, the classroom, etc.
The teacher’s emotional culture, as an essential component of his/her teaching culture
(psychological and social), is reflected in "the unity of the intrapersonal and the communicative-
interpersonal dimensions." As a pedagogical concept, it lends a "broader meaning" to the affective
universe, developed professionally and personally. Thus, it encompasses "a combination of emotional and
communicative qualities and capabilities, personal-adjusting skills to secure awareness" and a positive
exploitation of "one’s states and feelings and of others’." The general function of the emotional culture is
to fruitfully capitalise emotional intelligence as "emotional competence - a meta-competence that
incorporates emotional, intellectual and human psyche-adjusting components, further converted in the
achievement of professional goals and aspirations” (Cojocaru-Borozan, 2012).
Our research paper mainly aimed at capturing to what extent emotional intelligence can enhance
teacher professionalization, considering that emotional culture development within the Romanian teacher
training framework is emerging. By adopting a theoretical and methodological approach, we sought to
identify the prospective teachers' perception of the development of their own emotional culture.
Moreover, the assimilation of key emotional values may also contribute to the learners' emotional
The free association method that we applied targeted 80 3rd-year year at the Faculty of Letters,
also enrolled in the teacher training programme in January-February 2016. This method is qualitative
method as described below.
Appling the free association method - in its oral form, we set up two triggers, i.e.
when hearing the term
Each subject received a hand-out describing the above mentioned task, being further instructed to
closely read it and provide solutions that best fit their beliefs, since there were no right or wrong answers.
The subjects were asked to complete all five associations requested. The survey was individually solved;
the time required to fill in ranged between 3 and 5 minutes.
The data obtained by applying the verbal free association method indicated a high degree of
variation, and further categorisation was necessary. Under the circumstances, we established several
categories of meaning for each of the two words surveyed.
Following the responses inventory of the free association task, we retrieved the words, phrases,
and categories of meaning in relation to the highest frequency rate, i.e. over 30%, to highlight the
dominant perspective regarding emotional intelligence and the teaching career. The words and phrases
with a frequency rate below 5% could not be organised into categories of meaning, being excluded from
our statistical analysis.
The categories illustrated below indicate a high degree of generalisation, in accordance with the
answers provided, as well as particularities subsumed under each category.
In terms of emotional intelligence:
In terms of teaching career:
As regards the representation of emotional intelligence, the core as expressed by our prospective teachers
displays empathy and social skills. The next important dimension, according to the survey, is motivation.
Moving on to the analysis of peripheral categories of meaning, we identified self-awareness and self-
adjustment. However, the peripheral ranking of these dimensions can be explained by our trainees’ lack
of experience. Our trainees experience real teaching in the classroom only for a limited number of hours.
With reference to the representation of the teaching career among the surveyed trainees, the data
obtained endorse that, generally, scientific competencies and communication skills are prerequisites,
followed by teaching competences. As trainees usually associate the teaching career with positive
emotional states, we suggested an self-reflection on their emotional state as self-evaluation of their
teaching practice. The majority of respondents exhibited a poor control over their emotions and often
manifested a distorted perception of their emotional states. Some of them were overwhelmed by fear,
worry, anxiety, even reaching a deadlock. Others confessed that their emotions were so strong that the
intervention of their teaching practice mentor was required.
To investigate the role of emotions in pre-service teacher training we resorted to systematic and
spontaneous observation, during the teaching practice, courses and completion of assignments. We found
that emotionally, during the courses and practical assignments, affection remained neutral, being more
visible during the teaching practice. This outcome led us to adjust the learning methodology for the
subject of Classroom Management (direct involvement, content exploring effort, trainees' interpreting
skills, solving real-life and simulated teaching problems, building their own reflections, cooperation and
collaboration in making generalisations) that at first triggered opposition. To induce a state of confidence, we applied a series of procedures:
Engaging trainees in real-life situations;
Self-expression of their comprehension with regard to the theoretical and practical issues and description of feelings experienced in relation to their comprehension;
Encouraging their own reflections;
Participation in debates, building arguments and counterarguments.
Pre-service teacher teaching training programmes may no longer be reduced to the development of
specialised professional and teaching competences, since they should be completed by an emotional
component as well. The contemporary teacher profile is fully rounded by developing the emotional
dimension in relation to the different teacher's roles caused by new paradigm shifts in education.
Accordingly, it is highly essential for our trainees, as prospective teachers, to grow aware and train their
dimensions of emotional intelligence (Goleman, 1995):
-Emotion self-awareness (the trainee should be able to distinguish and label them, understand
their cause, distinguish between feelings and actions);
-Emotion management (the trainee should be able to control his/her anger and tolerate his/her
frustrations, express anger non-aggressively, show self-respect, nourish positive feelings towards
themselves and towards the others);
-Self-motivation (the trainee should be responsible, able to focus on a task, to exercise self-
-Empathy (the trainee should develop the ability to perceive reality from the others’ perspective,
he/she must learn to listen actively);
-Management of interpersonal relationships (the trainee should develop the ability to understand
and analyse interpersonal relationships, be open to communication, show prosocial behaviour).
The teachers’ level of emotional culture impacts on the quality of educational services (Gendrom,
2008) since the most complex and varied problems faced by teachers nowadays are emotional in nature.
Living in an unstable, uncertain and ever changing world, a huge machinery meant to fabricate
responsibilities, obligations, threats, uncertainties and confusions, (considerably) numerous teachers
express their worries. For many, their mind is overwhelmed with uncomfortable worries and anxieties and
are neither able to control nor to remove them ... therefore, to our mind, it is time to realise that the
development and the quality of education is clearly influenced by the mental strength or weakness
manifested by the teacher in front of the class (Albu, 2013). In this context, new concerns have spread
with reference to prospective teachers’ emotional intelligence development to meet contemporary
professional demands. Nonetheless, in Romania studies of the development of emotional intelligence in
pre-service teacher training are incipient.
Our research highlighted the need to integrate programmes tailored emotional intelligence
modules within pre-service teacher training, centred on: emotional involvement, positive emotional
mobility, emotional activism, emotional expressivity, and emotional resistance to stress, in-depth
emotional perception, emotional flexibility, and emotional creativity.
We further envisage sustainable socio-emotional development workshops focusing on two main
dimensions: Emotion self-awareness / Emotion management; Empathy development. We strongly believe
that pre-service teacher training programmes should include emotional intelligence development as a
prerequisite for a faster and complete professional integration, generating less stress and anxiety.
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