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Frenzel A.C.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Becker-Kurz B.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Pekrun R.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Goetz T.,Empirical | Goetz T.,Thurgau University of Teacher Education
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Teachers' emotions are critically important for the quality of classroom instruction, and they are key components of teachers' psychological well-being. Past research has focused on individual differences between teachers, whereas within-teacher variation across contexts has rarely been considered. As such, the present research addresses the long-standing yet unresolved person-situation debate pertaining to the emotional experiences of teachers. In two diary studies (N = 135, 70% female, and N = 85, 28% female), we examined the role of person, academic subject, and group of students for teacher emotions; focusing on three of the most salient emotions found in teachers: enjoyment, anger, and anxiety. Findings from multi-level analysis confirmed the person specificity of enjoyment, anger, and, in particular, anxiety. In addition, underscoring the existence of within-teacher variability, findings supported that teachers' emotions considerably varied depending on the subject and group of students taught, particularly so for enjoyment and anger. Implications of the person and context specificity of teacher emotions are discussed in relation to assessments and intervention programs aiming to improve teachers' emotional lives in the classroom. © 2015 Frenzel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Schall M.,University of Konstanz | Schall M.,Thurgau University of Teacher Education | Goetz T.,University of Konstanz | Goetz T.,Thurgau University of Teacher Education | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Although engaging in pleasant experiences following successful performance may be hedonically rewarding, in the present research we proposed that individuals might forego pleasant experiences when they have not yet completed a task. In Study 1 (N = 100), participants reported the extent to which they would like to engage in pleasant experiences in a hypothetical situation where their performance outcome on a task (successful vs. average) and task completion (task in progress vs. completed) were manipulated. In Study 2 (N = 115), participants were in a real situation in which they achieved either a successful or average performance outcome. Task completion was manipulated (task in progress vs. completed) and motivation to engage in a pleasant experience was assessed by a behavioral measure. Results of both studies provided support for our prediction by showing individuals to have a lower desire to engage in pleasant experiences following successful, but not average, performance when the task was in progress than when it was complete. These findings are discussed in light of the underlying mechanisms and consequences of the tendency to forego pleasant experiences. © 2015 Schall et al.

Preckel F.,University of Trier | Gotz T.,University of Konstanz | Gotz T.,Thurgau University of Teacher Education | Frenzel A.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich
British Journal of Educational Psychology | Year: 2010

Background. Securing appropriate challenge or preventing boredom is one of the reasons frequently used to justify ability grouping of gifted students, which has been shown to have beneficial effects for achievement. On the other hand, critics stress psychosocial costs, such as detrimental effects on academic self-concept (contrast or big-fish-little-pond effect). Aim. The effects of full-time ability grouping in special classrooms for the gifted on students' academic self-concept and their experience of boredom in mathematics classes were investigated. Sample. The sample comprised 186 ninth-grade students (106 male) from eight classes at one Austrian high school. Four of these classes were part of a gifted track beginning from school year 9 on (N = 93). Method. Students were assessed repeatedly within the first half of the school year, three times via self-report questionnaires and once by applying a standardized IQ-test. Results and conclusions. Students in gifted classes reported a decrease in maths academic self-concept which was most pronounced early in the academic year. Interventions to counterbalance the negative effect of exposure to a high-ability reference group should therefore be implemented when ability grouping begins. No evidence for the boredom hypothesis was found (higher levels of boredom among gifted students in regular classes). However, students clearly differed in the reasons they stated for experiencing boredom. Boredom attributions changed over time and supported the assumption that gifted classes provide more appropriate levels of challenge. © The British Psychological Society.

News Article | February 15, 2017

Research has shown that students' learning and cognitive performance can be influenced by emotional reactions to learning, like enjoyment, anxiety, and boredom. Most studies on this topic have been done in labs. Now a new longitudinal study out of Germany investigates how students' emotions in a school context relate to their achievement. The study focused on achievement in math, which is not only important for education and economic productivity but is also known to prompt strong emotional reactions in students. The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Munich, Australian Catholic University, University of Oxford, University of Reading, University of Konstanz, and Thurgau University of Teacher Education. It appears in the journal Child Development. "We found that emotions influenced students' math achievement over the years," explains Reinhard Pekrun, professor of psychology at the University of Munich and Australian Catholic University, who led the research. "Students with higher intelligence had better grades and test scores, but those who also enjoyed and took pride in math had even better achievement. Students who experienced anger, anxiety, shame, boredom, or hopelessness had lower achievement." The research was conducted as part of the Project for the Analysis of Learning and Achievement in Mathematics (PALMA). It included annual assessments of emotions and achievement in math in 3,425 German students from grades 5 through 9. Students were representative of the student population of Bavaria, which primarily includes youth from nonimmigrant White families, but represents a broad mix of socioeconomic backgrounds and both urban and rural locations. Students' self-reported emotions were measured by questionnaires, and their achievement was assessed by year-end grades and scores on a math achievement test. The study also found that achievement affected students' emotions over time: "Successful performance in math increased students' positive emotions and decreased their negative emotions over the years," according to Stephanie Lichtenfeld, senior lecturer at the University of Munich, who coauthored the study. "In contrast, students with poor grades and test scores suffered from a decline in positive emotions and an increase in negative emotions, such as math anxiety and math boredom. Thus, these students become caught in a downward spiral of negative emotion and poor achievement." The study's finding that emotions influenced achievement held constant even after taking into account the effects of other variables, including students' intelligence and gender, and families' socioeconomic status. The results are consistent with previous studies showing that emotions and academic achievement are correlated, but they go beyond these by disentangling the directional effects underlying this link. Specifically, the research suggests that emotions influence adolescents' achievement over and above the effects of general cognitive ability and prior accomplishments, the authors note. The study's authors recommend that educators, administrators, and parents work to strengthen students' positive emotions and minimize negative emotions related to school subjects, for example, by helping students gain a greater sense of control over their performance. They also suggest that providing students with opportunities to experience success may help reduce negative feelings and facilitate emotional well-being, which can promote students' educational attainment. Future research on this topic could explore whether the pattern found here pertains to other age groups and academic subjects. The research was supported by the University of Munich and the German Research Foundation. The Society for Research in Child Development will hold its Biennial Meeting in Austin, Texas, April 6-8, 2017. Members of the media are encouraged to attend to hear presentations on the latest research. Those journalists interested in learning more about this year's conference, or obtaining a press pass, should contact Conference attendance is free for qualified press with advanced registration. Summarized from Child Development, Achievement Emotions and Academic Performance: Longitudinal Models of Reciprocal Effects by Pekrun, R (University of Munich and Australian Catholic University), Lichtenfeld, S (University of Munich), Marsh, HW (Australian Catholic University and University of Oxford), Murayama, K (University of Reading), and Goetz, T (University of Konstanz and Thurgau University of Teacher Education). Copyright 2017 The Society for Research in Child Development, Inc. All rights reserved.

Goetz T.,University of Konstanz | Goetz T.,Thurgau University of Teacher Education | Becker E.S.,University of Konstanz | Becker E.S.,Thurgau University of Teacher Education | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Following from previous research on intensity bias and the accessibility model of emotional self-report, the present study examined the role of emotional exhaustion in explaining the discrepancy in teachers' reports of their trait (habitual) versus state (momentary, "real") emotions. Trait reports (habitual emotions, exhaustion) were assessed via trait questionnaires, and state reports (momentary emotions) were assessed in real time via the experience sampling method by using personal digital assistants (N = 69 high school teachers; 1,089 measures within teachers). In line with our assumptions, multi-level analyses showed that, as compared to the state assessment, teachers reported higher levels of habitual teaching-related emotions of anger, anxiety, shame, boredom, enjoyment, and pride. Additionally, the state-trait discrepancy in self-reports of negative emotions was accounted for by teachers' emotional exhaustion, with high exhaustion levels corresponding with a greater state-trait discrepancy. Exhaustion levels did not moderate the state-trait discrepancy in positive emotions indicating that perceived emotional exhaustion may reflect identityrelated cognitions specific to the negative belief system. Implications for research and educational practice are discussed. © 2015 Goetz et al.

Bieg M.,University of Konstanz | Bieg M.,Thurgau University of Teacher Education | Goetz T.,University of Konstanz | Goetz T.,Thurgau University of Teacher Education | Lipnevich A.A.,Queens College, City University of New York
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

This study investigated whether there is a discrepancy pertaining to trait and state academic emotions and whether selfconcept of ability moderates this discrepancy. A total of 225 secondary school students from two different countries enrolled in grades 8 and 11 (German sample; n = 94) and grade 9 (Swiss sample; n = 131) participated. Students' trait academic emotions of enjoyment, pride, anger, and anxiety in mathematics were assessed with a self-report questionnaire, whereas to assess their state academic emotions experience-sampling method was employed. The results revealed that students' scores on the trait assessment of emotions were generally higher than their scores on the state assessment. Further, as expected, students' academic self-concept in the domain of mathematics was shown to partly explain the discrepancy between scores on trait and state emotions. Our results indicate that there is a belief-driven discrepancy between what students think they feel (trait assessment) and what they really feel (state assessment). Implications with regard to the assessment of self-reported emotions in future studies and practical implications for the school context are discussed. © 2014 Bieg et al.

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