Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Laurie Wellner Ed.D
Chris Kueng Ed.D
Carlos Rodriguez Ed.D
Purpose. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand how middle school teachers describe their use of the four elements of emotional intelligence (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management) to reduce student behavioral referrals. In addition, it was the purpose of this study to discover the barriers and benefits to teacher use of the elements of emotional intelligence (EI).
Methodology. This study utilized a qualitative approach to understand how middle school teachers describe their use of the four elements of EI to reduce student behavioral referrals. In addition, a qualitative approach was utilized to discover the barriers and benefits to teacher use of the elements of EI. A sample of middle school teachers from San Bernardino and Los Angeles Counties participated through in-depth interviews. The data were coded to describe similarities and differences in perceptions of how participant teachers described their use of the four elements of EI to reduce the number of written office referrals.
Findings: Analysis of interview data resulted in 13 themes. Nine key findings were identified based on the frequency of references by study participants. Building relationships with students was considered important, building trust between teacher and student is important as well as establishing structure in the classroom and clear oral and written communication. Reported benefits of EI included better relationships with students, higher levels of student engagement, and more trusting relationships. Reported barriers included student home lives and limited training for EI.
Conclusions: The 9 key findings were summarized as 5 conclusions. Teachers in this study stressed the importance of building relationships, using the four skills of EI to build better relationships, engaging students through EI, and establishing trust with students. Teachers also need additional training to hone their EI skills.
Recommendations: Further research of outlier teachers at all grade levels across the U.S. should be conducted.
Kelley, Juanita E., "Teacher Emotional Intelligence and Best Practices for Classroom Management" (2018). Dissertations. 217.
Educational Leadership Commons, Educational Methods Commons, Elementary Education Commons, Junior High, Intermediate, Middle School Education and Teaching Commons, Other Teacher Education and Professional Development Commons, Secondary Education and Teaching Commons