Teachers' emotional experience: Insights from Hong Kong primary schools

Zhenli WU, Junjun CHEN

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24 Citations (Scopus)


This study aims to understand teacher emotions through interviewing 28 primary teachers in Hong Kong. The study employed content analysis to analyze the data. The results were allocated to three dimensions of teacher emotions—student and learning, teacher and teaching, and the contextual factors. These teachers described 78 emotions of which approximately an equal number were positive and negative. Emotions relating to the student and learning dimension are the most intense, followed by those in the teacher and teaching and contextual factor dimensions. Data also indicated that teachers can hold positive and negative emotions simultaneously (e.g., happy yet pressurized by child's unconditional trust) and can suffer from paradoxical emotions (e.g., regarding education reform). Teachers demonstrated different ways to manage emotions contingent on their demographic background. Given the powerful role that emotions play, recommendations for including teacher emotion education in both initial teacher education and professional development have been proposed accordingly. Copyright © 2018 Education Research Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-541
JournalAsia Pacific Education Review
Issue number4
Early online dateSept 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


Wu, Z., & Chen, J. (2018). Teachers' emotional experience: Insights from Hong Kong primary schools. Asia Pacific Education Review, 19(4), 531-541. doi: 10.1007/s12564-018-9553-6


  • Teacher emotion
  • Qualitative
  • Primary
  • Hong Kong


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