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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 47  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 89-92

Emotional intelligence among schoolteachers in rural Karnataka – A cross-sectional study


Department of Community Medicine, St. John's Medical College, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Date of Submission09-Apr-2020
Date of Acceptance11-Jun-2020
Date of Web Publication11-Sep-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Naveen Ramesh
Department of Community Medicine, St. John's Medical College, Bengaluru - 560 034, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jss.JSS_22_20

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  Abstract 


Introduction: Teachers are fundamental in the educational process and play an essential role in molding the next generation. Schoolteachers handle children coming from various backgrounds, and hence, it necessitates that they develop the kind of emotional intelligence (EI) which is required to deal with these complexities. Aims: The aim of the study was to assess the EI among the schoolteachers and its association with sociodemographic factors. Methodology: This was an exploratory descriptive cross-sectional study. One hundred and two teachers who met the inclusion criteria of having work experience of more than a year in the selected three schools were included in the study. The EI was assessed using the leadership toolkit EI questionnaire. The data were entered in Microsoft Excel and were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) (SPSS version 16). Results: Among the 102 teachers, 35 (34.3%) teachers were in the age group of 21–33 years, 72 (70.6%) teachers were female, 61 (59.8%) teachers had work experience of more than 5 years, and 68 (66.7%) were permanent employees. Female teachers had better EI compared to males, and this was statistically significant with P < 0.05. Conclusions: More than half of the teachers had “strength” with regard to self-awareness, motivating oneself, empathy, and social skills except managing emotions. Female teachers had significantly higher EI scores compared to males. There was no statistical significance between age, marital status, years of experience, duration of work in the present school, nature of employment, and EI.

Keywords: Emotional intelligence, rural schools, teachers


How to cite this article:
Nagaraj D, Ramesh N. Emotional intelligence among schoolteachers in rural Karnataka – A cross-sectional study. J Sci Soc 2020;47:89-92

How to cite this URL:
Nagaraj D, Ramesh N. Emotional intelligence among schoolteachers in rural Karnataka – A cross-sectional study. J Sci Soc [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Oct 26];47:89-92. Available from: https://www.jscisociety.com/text.asp?2020/47/2/89/294790




  Introduction Top


Teachers are fundamental in the educational process and in making an individual a better individual.[1] Teachers are the backbone of our education system, thus play an essential role in society by helping students gain knowledge and ethical values.[2] It is the teacher who molds the most precious material of the land, i.e., students in their most precious period of their development.[1]

Emotional intelligence (EI) is defined as the capacity to be aware of, control, express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.[3] Every schoolteacher in our country handles children coming from various backgrounds such as different socioeconomic statuses, family demography, religion and social class, and children who are obedient and those who are mischievous. It becomes necessary for a teacher to develop the kind of EI required to deal with these complexities on a day-to-day basis.[3] There are many situations where teachers being self-aware and emotionally intelligent can prevent their negative emotions to impact students. Most of the time, teachers lose pleasure in teaching simply because they have not been supported in building their EI. The ability to manage emotions helps people nurture positive effect, avoid being overwhelmed by negative effect, and cope with stress.[1]

EI can be improved by evaluating the way one reacts to the stressful situation, expressing or showing gratitude to the people who help, think rationally, help the needy people, socialize, make friends, and spending time on their hobbies and with their family members.[4]

Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist, developed a framework of five elements that defined EI. They were self-awareness, managing emotions, motivation, empathy, and social skills.[4]

According to the studies [4],[5],[6] from India and abroad, EI had no relation with the marital status of teachers but was associated with gender, age, and teaching experience. Furthermore, employees with higher emotional competencies could easily manage their emotions, which helps to retain their positive mental state and increased work performance.[6]

People with high EI are successful in most of the things they do because they adjust to their surrounding environment, and they go through life much more calmly than people who are angered or upset.[4]

Highly EI teachers are likely to motivate their students by understanding their behavioral and emotional comfort and at the same time are more sensitive toward student's troublesome behavior, academic performance, and relationship management. A teacher with better EI can handle and deal with various issues faced by children including age-related issues at school or at home. Teachers with high EI have empathy toward children, which has an optimistic and an eternal impression on a student's mind.[2] EI helps teachers to improve their performance, self-awareness, and decrease violence, stress, and aggressive behavior; reduces emotional distress; and helps to deal with complex situations in the classroom and improve their physical health.[7],[8] The work of the teachers is not only to motivate the students to learn but also to bring overall personality development within the student. It is possible only through applying EI in classroom settings.[9]

Thus, the objectives of our study were to assess the EI among the schoolteachers and its association with sociodemographic factors.


  Methodology Top


Three schools located in Baramasagara, Chitradurga district, Karnataka, India, were approached to be a part of this study. Permissions were obtained from the heads of each of the institutions to enroll teachers in this research. Among these three schools, two were government-aided schools, and one was a private school. The institutional ethical approval was obtained (308/2018) from the Institutional Ethical Committee, St. John's Medical College, Bengaluru. The data were collected during February 2019. Teachers with a work experience of more than a year and those who consented were included in this study. There were a total of 135 teachers, among them 12 teachers were absent on the day of the interview, and 21 of them did not fulfill the inclusion criteria. Thus, 102 teachers who satisfied the study inclusion criteria and gave consent were enrolled in this study.

The following self-assessment tools were used to collect the required study information. The first part comprised sociodemographic information such as age, gender, education, marital status, nature of employment, years of experience, and duration of work in the present school.

The second part reflected on EI, which was assessed using a 50-item Leadership Toolkit EI questionnaire by the National Health Services that consists of five elements, namely self-awareness, managing emotions, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Each element was assessed in terms of strength, needs attention, and developmental priority. The total score ranges from 10 to 50. A score of 35–50 interpreted as strength, 18–34 as needing attention, where one feels weakest, and 10–17 interprets development priority.[10]

Statistical analysis

The data were entered on Microsoft Excel and analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 16. The analysis for the EI was done based on percentages. The factors associated with sociodemographic details and EI were analyzed using Fisher's exact test with P < 0.05 considered statistically significant.


  Results Top


Among 102 teachers, majority (72, 70.6%) were female, most (35, 34.3%) were in the age group of 22–31 years, 78 (76.5%) were married, 60 (58.8%) had completed bachelor education, 73 (59.8%) teachers had working experience for more than 5 years, 61 (59.8%) teachers were working for more than 5 years in the present school, and 68 (66.7%) were permanent employees.

[Table 1] depicts the EI scores based on the five elements with regard to “strength,” “needs attention” and “developmental priority” as per the EI scale. According to this, most teachers scored well in the five domains with regard to “strength” and the lowest within “managing emotions.” All the teachers have to concentrate on “need attention” subset to improve their overall EI scores.
Table 1: Classification of emotional intelligence among the study participants

Click here to view


On comparison of the various sociodemographic details with five elements of EI, we found that gender was statistically associated with EI with P < 0.05, where male teachers needed more strength, need attention, and developmental priority when compared to female teachers in all the five elements of the EI scale, as depicted in [Table 2]. There was no significant association between the age of the participants, marital status, years of experience, duration of work in the present school, nature of employment (permanent and temporary), and EI.
Table 2: Association between sociodemographic details and elements of emotional intelligence

Click here to view



  Discussion Top


In a study done in Madurai, 91.4% of teachers had work experience of more than 5 years,[11] whereas in our study, 73 (59.8%) had work experience for more than 5 years. A study done by Rani et al. reported that 92% of the respondents were married, which is much higher than our study findings (76.5%) and 30% had 10–20 years of teaching experience.[12] A study done by Nigama et al. reported that 20% of the teachers were married,[13] which is much lower than our study findings (76.5%). According to a report by the National Foundation for Educational Research, retention rates of early-career teachers have dropped significantly over the past few years.[14]

“Self-awareness” is the ability to recognize one's feelings, understand habitual emotional responses to events, and to recognize how emotions affect their behavior and performance. “Managing emotions” is the ability to stay focused and think even when experiencing powerful emotions. “Motivating oneself” is the ability to use one's deepest emotions to move and guide them toward their goals, which enables them to take the initiative and to persevere when they face obstacles and setbacks. “Empathy” is the ability to sense, understand, and respond to what other people are feeling. “Social skill” is the ability to manage, influence, and inspire emotions in others.[10] In our study, more than half of the teachers had strength in self-awareness, motivating oneself, empathy, and social skills, and if they could pay attention and develop skills to manage their emotions then the overall EI score would increase. Less than fifty percent of the teachers needed attention and developmental priority in managing emotions like the ability to stay focused and think even when experiencing powerful emotions.[10]

In our study, gender was significantly associated with EI in all the five elements, i.e., female teachers fared better than male teachers. Male teachers needed more strength, attention, and developmental priority when compared to females in all the five elements of EI. There was no significant association between EI and age, marital status, years of experience, duration of work in the present school, and nature of employment.

This study findings of female teachers had more EI when compared to male teachers, which was similar to the studies [5],[6] done in Pakistan by Hayat et al. and Arthi R et al. in Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India, among schoolteachers, where female secondary school teachers were more emotionally intelligent and professionally developed compared to male secondary school teachers. Studies [15],[16] among teacher educators in Assam, India, by Sreekala and in Jordan by Bassam showed that the gender of the teacher did not make any differential influence on their EI. Studies [6],[13] have found a significant relationship between EI levels and teaching experience, but there were no similar findings in this study. The present study did not find any significant association between marital status and EI, which is similar to a study done among schoolteachers by Bibi.[17] A study done in Punjab by Toor [18] found that male secondary school teachers had more EI compared to female teachers in private school, and female secondary teachers had better EI than males in government schools, and according to the study done among trainee teachers by Kant and Lenka in Uttar Pradesh, gender did not play any role in the progress of EI.[19]

This study concludes that the female teachers had better EI compared to males in all the five elements, i.e., self-awareness, managing emotions, motivating oneself, empathy, and social skills.


  Conclusions Top


The results indicate that more than half of the teachers had strength in self-awareness, motivating oneself, empathy, and social skills except managing emotions. Female teachers had better EI compared to male teachers. There is no statistical significance between age, marital status, years of experience, duration of work in the present school, nature of employment, and EI.

Recommendations

At the initial stage of teacher education courses, the level of emotional competence should be assessed so that programs can be planned to help improve EI among teachers. Practices can be incorporated like maintaining reflection diary, creating teacher sharing circles so that teachers can discuss among themselves about their feelings.[3] Training programs can be organized in schools [20] to enhance EI of teachers, which have found to have a positive impact on the teachers and this in turn on students.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

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    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2]



 

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