Being a Teacher

Efficacy, Emotions, and Interpersonal Relationships in the Classroom

Authored by: Lynley H. Anderman , Robert M. Klassen

Handbook of Educational Psychology

Print publication date:  July  2015
Online publication date:  July  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415894814
eBook ISBN: 9781315688244
Adobe ISBN: 9781317420569


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Teachers’ professional lives are complex and demanding. In addition to enacting mandated curricula and being held accountable for students’ progress in learning and performance, teachers also are answerable to parents and taxpayers who may have differing expectations. Finally, teachers are responsible for creating an orderly classroom environment that promotes the development of students with often widely varying backgrounds, talents, and needs. In this chapter, we discuss aspects of teachers’ work as it takes place in the classroom, during the act of instruction. In particular, we focus on research in K-12 contexts rather than in higher-education classes (e.g., Menges & Austin, 2001) or informal learning contexts (e.g., Bell, Lewenstein, Shouse, & Feder, 2009). Even setting aside other dimensions of their professional lives, including activities that occur outside the classroom and responsibilities in enacting policy requirements, teachers’ work is multifaceted and fluid. As teachers work to provide instruction, maintain student engagement, and monitor student progress, a range of cognitive, affective, and social processes interacts. In the first Handbook of Educational Psychology, Schuell (1996) noted:

teacher effects are multidimensional. Although cognitive processes typically receive the most attention, cognition neither occurs in isolation nor is it the only psychological system that influences both the content and noncognitive outcomes that students acquire from an educational experience. Emotional, motivational, attitudinal, cultural, and other affective and social factors operate simultaneously with cognitive factors and play a critical role in determining what is learned. (p. 727)

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