Emotional intelligence and beliefs about children, discipline and classroom practices among pre-service teachers

Maryclare E Flanagan, Pace University


This research sought to explore how emotional intelligence (EI) shapes the beliefs of pre-service teachers with respect to issues such as classroom management and student behavior. 101 pre-service teachers were recruited from undergraduate and graduate education courses at a private, mid-sized university. The Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i), which assesses emotional intelligence, the Teacher Belief Q-sort (TBQ), which assesses beliefs about children, classroom practices and classroom management, and a Self Report measure, which assesses the use of self assessment techniques, were administered. EI had a medium effect size on age (r = .35, p<.01) suggesting that as age increases, so does Emotional Intelligence. Scores on the TBQ showed no relationship to age or level of education and scores on the EQ-i or TBQ were not related to gender. A series of correlations and partial correlations revealed some relationships between EI and Teachers' Beliefs. The results showed a consistent specific relationship between all scales of EI and a preference for a classroom that was less teacher-directed. There was variability in the relationships between EI and other Teachers' Beliefs, such that when response bias was controlled for, the results showed that several correlations were largely a function of social desirability rather than a relationship between constructs. There were some relationships between EI and teachers beliefs but little correspondence between teachers' beliefs and self-assessment practices and also between EI and self-assessment practices. Recommendations for teacher training programs, implications for future research and a discussion regarding the application of this study for school-clinical child psychology are presented.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Teacher education|Developmental psychology

Recommended Citation

Flanagan, Maryclare E, "Emotional intelligence and beliefs about children, discipline and classroom practices among pre-service teachers" (2009). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI3395650.



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