Teacher and student emotions in higher education – does the teaching approach make a difference? (TSEmo)

Internally funded project

Acronym: TSEmo

Start date : 02.10.2017

End date : 31.10.2018

Project details

Short description

Research on teaching in higher education has focused on teaching conceptions, and these vary from teaching as imparting information from the teacher to the students, to constructing knowledge together with students through interaction (Kember & Kwan, 2000; Postareff & Lindblom-Ylänne, 2011). Teaching and learning is connected with a variety of emotions, but research on this area is scarce in higher education (Hagenauer et al., 2016). The present study therefore explores student and teacher emotions and their interaction based on Pekrun’s (2006) control-value theory. In a mixed-method study with pre- and post-measures after each lesson different types of interrogation (standardized instruments and interviews) and video-based observation of higher education classes are combined. Emotions are analyzed in a teacher-centered instructional setting and a student-oriented learning setting.

Participants in this study are part of self-selected groups of lecture classes in the domain of Educational Science. The lecturers (N = 2) teach two classes (in total N = 60 students; N = 15 students per class) for one semester including 6 lessons that will be analyzed using repeated measurements and qualitative content analysis. The same topic is taught in one class in a teacher-centered, and in the other class in a student-oriented way.

It is assumed that teacher-centered lessons are related more to students’ negative emotions, and student-oriented lessons should correlate stronger with students’ positive emotions. Teachers’ emotions should correlate with their personality, self-efficacy, and the perceived quality of interaction differing with respect to the teaching approach, and students’ emotions.


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