Deconstructing emotional intelligence competencies in an international graduate teacher cohort: Reflections on people skills in effective teaching practice.
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A reflective task was used to observe changes in critical self-awareness and to monitor sensitivity to classroom interaction before and after a master's course on socioemotional development. This intensive 3-week summer course was focused on how teachers established positive everyday plans for their classroom even when interactions were socially difficult and emotionally charged. As part of coursework, 76 fee-paying international students wrote pre- and post-course reflections of approximately 100 words on their "people skills." Their responses to specific "emotional competencies" prompts were compiled into two text files and content analysed for high-frequency terms and patterns of word associations spatially represented in a two-dimensional field. Collated pre-reflections revealed conventional views of the people skills required in teaching (e.g., as handling situations in terms of the social rules of classroom and with feelings about the pressures and time constraints in dealing with difficult people). In contrast, postreflection views about feelings and situations linked specific teaching about positive environments with being prepared to deal with emotionally difficult problems. In relation to the construct of emotional intelligence, these analyses support the instructional view that this construct is a highly trainable output rather than an inbuilt personal attribute.
Teacher education: Local and global
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