Background: Recently, studies have found that more and more teachers in Hong Kong express negative feelings toward their work, such as feelings of dissatisfaction, exhaustion, meaningless and powerless. These negative emotional experiences may affect both their well-being and the quality of their teaching. In order to have a better understanding of this phenomenon, researchers employ the sociological concept of emotion management. Therefore, this paper reviews different sociological perspectives on the phenomenon in order to give recommendations for educational reforms and policies and for further research on teachers' emotional experiences at work in Hong Kong.
Aims or focus of discussion: This article considers two major sociological approaches to understanding emotion management in teaching: Conflict theory and symbolic interactionism. At the end of the discussion, implications for educational reforms and policies and recommendations for further research are suggested respectively.
Arguments/comments/suggestions: The article argues that symbolic interactionism is a more appropriate approach to understanding emotion management of teaching than conflict theory because it considers the effects of both structural conditions and teachers' agency on teachers' emotions. Thus, it may provide a more comprehensive and realistic account and framework for our investigation.
Conclusion: The article suggests that we should study teachers' emotional experiences at work in Hong Kong from a symbolic interactionist perspective of emotion management of teaching. Accordingly, we should try to answer the following questions: What are teachers' expectations about their work? What are the conditions of their work? Are there gaps between their expectations and reality? What are the constraints that affect the realization of their expectations? What emotions do they actually experience at work? In order to answer these questions more effectively, this article recommends adopting in-depth qualitative methods of investigation. Copyright © 2012 New Horizons in Education. All rights reserved.
|Journal||New Horizons in Education|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2012|
CitationTsang, K. K. (2012). Emotion management of teaching: Conflict theory and symbolic interactionism. New Horizons in Education, 60(2), 83-94.
- Emotion management of teaching
- Conflict theory
- Symbolic interactionism
- Alt. title: 教學的情緒管理：衝突論和符號互動論