Exploring the impact of teacher emotions on their approaches to teaching: A structural equation modelling approach

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Research into teacher emotion has attracted increasing attention in the last two decades. The relevance of teacher emotion in education has been highlighted. However, evidence of how teacher emotions impact their teaching approaches is rather limited.


This study investigated the relationship between two self-report instruments – the Teacher Emotion Inventory and the Approach to Teaching.


There were 1,830 teachers were approached from 43 primary schools in China and 12 primary schools in Hong Kong.


Exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, and structural equation modelling were utilized in the analysis procedure.


As a result, a five-factor TEI model was identified with two positive factors (Joy and Love) and three negative factors (Sadness, Anger, and Fear). A ATI model involved was confirmed with three factors (Knowledge Transmission, Student-Teacher Interaction, and Student Focus). Structural equation modelling demonstrated that more student-centred approaches are the consequence of positive teacher emotions while a teacher-centred approach is the consequence of negative teacher emotions although there are two surprising links.


Identifying this pattern of relationships will contribute to understanding the reasons why new teaching strategies are often not adopted despite well-designed professional programs and educational reform and will provide implications for teaching improvement through teacher emotion.

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