Title

“Show Me Your Angry Faces!” Preschool Teachers’ Emotion Talk in the Classroom

Lead Author Major

Psychology

Lead Author Status

Senior

Second Author Major

Psychology

Second Author Status

Senior

Format

Oral Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Dr. Jessica Grady

Faculty Mentor Email

jgrady@pacific.edu

Faculty Mentor Department

Psychology

Abstract/Artist Statement

Emotion talk plays an important role in the social and emotional development of preschoolers, but not much work has shown how teacher’s talk about emotions naturalistically, in the classroom. In this descriptive study, teachers’ emotion language was observed and was coded for function and affective tone and related to child emotion-related behaviors. All teachers (N=13) were observed for 15 hours each in 1-3 hour sessions during regular class time. Teachers’ emotion utterances were transcribed verbatim and descriptions of the child behaviors were recorded for 1 minute following the utterance. There were 633 total utterances observed and teachers ranged from 14 utterances (less than 1 per hour) to 165 utterances (11 per hour). Teacher age, education level, and years of teaching were not associated with the number, function, or affective tone of utterances. Emotion utterances occurred more frequently when children were engaged in compliant activities and less frequently when children were engaged in unproductive involvement, productive play, or negative responses to frustration. Explaining and questioning frequently occurred when children were compliant. Additionally, socialization and guiding statements were common when children were engaging in negative and frustrated behaviors. Further research should consider whether scaffolding teachers’ use of emotion language could help to increase the level of emotion talk in preschool classrooms and lead to better social and emotional outcomes for children.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Room 211

Start Date

29-4-2017 2:40 PM

End Date

29-4-2017 3:00 PM

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Apr 29th, 2:40 PM Apr 29th, 3:00 PM

“Show Me Your Angry Faces!” Preschool Teachers’ Emotion Talk in the Classroom

DeRosa University Center, Room 211

Emotion talk plays an important role in the social and emotional development of preschoolers, but not much work has shown how teacher’s talk about emotions naturalistically, in the classroom. In this descriptive study, teachers’ emotion language was observed and was coded for function and affective tone and related to child emotion-related behaviors. All teachers (N=13) were observed for 15 hours each in 1-3 hour sessions during regular class time. Teachers’ emotion utterances were transcribed verbatim and descriptions of the child behaviors were recorded for 1 minute following the utterance. There were 633 total utterances observed and teachers ranged from 14 utterances (less than 1 per hour) to 165 utterances (11 per hour). Teacher age, education level, and years of teaching were not associated with the number, function, or affective tone of utterances. Emotion utterances occurred more frequently when children were engaged in compliant activities and less frequently when children were engaged in unproductive involvement, productive play, or negative responses to frustration. Explaining and questioning frequently occurred when children were compliant. Additionally, socialization and guiding statements were common when children were engaging in negative and frustrated behaviors. Further research should consider whether scaffolding teachers’ use of emotion language could help to increase the level of emotion talk in preschool classrooms and lead to better social and emotional outcomes for children.