Teachers' positive emotions and student-related matters

Kwok Kuen TSANG, Lianjiang JIANG, Qingyan QIN

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters


Researches have commonly attributed teachers’ positive emotions in teaching to student-related matters. However, what sorts of student-related matters and why such matters would influence teachers’ emotions remains underexplored. This study examines the role of student-related matters in relation to teachers’ emotions in teaching by interviewing 21 secondary school teachers in Hong Kong. The researchers try to combine appraisal theory with symbolic interactionism to study teachers’ emotion. In this study, appraisal theory is used to demonstrate that teachers’ emotion is the result after evaluating students’ behaviors based on instructional goals. But it does not explain how teachers’ reflection on student-related matters arouse teachers’ positive emotions. The researchers try to use symbolic interactionism to supplement the appraisal theory. Symbolic interactionism explains how teachers get the symbols of making a difference, and how they translate these symbols into practice. Drawing on the appraisal theory and symbolic interactionism, this study shows that teachers’ positive emotions in teaching are closely related to five types of student-related matters, which are gratifying graduation, students’ appreciations, positive changes in student behavior and attitude, learning progress, and positive teacher-student relationship. The study also shows that these student-related matters were conducive to teachers’ positive emotions because they were perceived by teachers as symbols of successful fulfillment of their instructional goal of making a difference. The study argues for a need to attend to student-related matters and teachers’ socially constructed instructional goal for more positive teacher emotions in teaching. Copyright © 2020 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in sociology research
EditorsJared A. JAWORSKI
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc
ISBN (Electronic)9781536183511
ISBN (Print)9781536182996
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


Tsang, K. K., Jiang, L., & Qin, Q. (2020). Teachers' positive emotions and student-related matters. In J. A. Jaworski (Ed.), Advances in Sociology Research (Vol. 30, pp. 65-93). New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.


  • Teacher emotion
  • Teaching goal
  • Stident-matters
  • Symbolic interactionism
  • Appraisal theory


Dive into the research topics of 'Teachers' positive emotions and student-related matters'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.