Scholarly article on topic 'Teacher's Self-concept and Self-esteem in Pedagogical Communication'

Teacher's Self-concept and Self-esteem in Pedagogical Communication Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

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Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Galina Glotova, Angelika Wilhelm

Abstract The study dealt with school teachers’ estimation of their own communicative behavior and competences on the base of their implicit theories. It used a quasi-experimental design. Data were gathered through an anonymous poll of 196 teachers about their own behavior in conflict pedagogical situations, and of 169 teachers about their own communicative competences. Having called previously modes of behavior of the “ideal” and “real” (typical) teacher in 10 conflict situations, the study found that 72% of teachers identified their own behavior in similar situations with behavior of the “ideal” teacher. The resulting average scores of teachers’ estimation of their 21 communicative competences varied from 7.39 points to 8.70 on a scale of 1 to 10. At the same time three groups of teachers with the low (4.93-7.07 points), average (7.08-9.01 points) and high (9.02-9.76 points) levels of estimation of their own communicative competences were identified. Spearman's correlation analysis showed that the main place in each of these groups was taken by different communicative competences. So, in the group with low self-esteem the greatest number of correlations have been revealed by competences of “patience”, “empathy”, and “ability to listen”, whereas in two other groups the main places were taken by other competences, such as “ability to be in dialogue”, “adequate conduct in a conflict situation”, “ability to listen” (average self-esteem), “ability to motivate pupils and get them interested,” and “ability to use means of communication” (high self-esteem). The study concludes that teachers’ self-concept includes their own estimation as a communicator, influencing their well-being and occupational satisfaction. Teachers with low self-esteem need psychological maintenance, directed on increase of their psychological well-being.

Academic research paper on topic "Teacher's Self-concept and Self-esteem in Pedagogical Communication"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 132 (2014) 509 - 514

6th International Conference on Intercultural Education "Education and Health: From a

transcultural perspective"

Teacher's self-concept and self-esteem in pedagogical

communication

Galina Glotovaa*, Angelika Wilhelmb

aPsychological Department, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation bPsychological Department, Ural Federal University, Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation

Abstract

The study dealt with school teachers' estimation of their own communicative behavior and competences on the base of their implicit theories. It used a quasi-experimental design. Data were gathered through an anonymous poll of 196 teachers about their own behavior in conflict pedagogical situations, and of 169 teachers about their own communicative competences. Having called previously modes of behavior of the "ideal" and "real" (typical) teacher in 10 conflict situations, the study found that 72% of teachers identified their own behavior in similar situations with behavior of the "ideal" teacher. The resulting average scores of teachers' estimation of their 21 communicative competences varied from 7.39 points to 8.70 on a scale of 1 to 10. At the same time three groups of teachers with the low (4.93-7.07 points), average (7.08-9.01 points) and high (9.02-9.76 points) levels of estimation of their own communicative competences were identified. Spearman's correlation analysis showed that the main place in each of these groups was taken by different communicative competences. So, in the group with low self-esteem the greatest number of correlations have been revealed by competences of "patience", "empathy", and "ability to listen", whereas in two other groups the main places were taken by other competences, such as "ability to be in dialogue", "adequate conduct in a conflict situation", "ability to listen" (average self-esteem), "ability to motivate pupils and get them interested," and "ability to use means of communication" (high self-esteem). The study concludes that teachers' self-concept includes their own estimation as a communicator, influencing their well-being and occupational satisfaction. Teachers with low self-esteem need psychological maintenance, directed on increase of their psychological well-being.

© 2014 The Authors. Published by ElsevierLtd.This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Selection and peer-review under responsibility of HUM-665 Research Group "Research and Evaluation in Intercultural Education". Keywords: Teacher's self-concept, self-esteem, pedagogical communicative behavior, communicative competences.

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +7-926-285-8224 E-mail address: galina.glotova1@mail.ru

1877-0428 © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Selection and peer-review under responsibility of HUM-665 Research Group "Research and Evaluation in Intercultural Education". doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.04.345

1. Introduction

The teacher's professional self-concept and self-esteem are studied by many authors, and viewed as the teacher's generalized image or implicit theory of himself/herself as a professional (Schultz, & Wolf, 1973; Burns, 1984; Friedman, & Farber, 1992; Leroy, Bressox, Sarrazin, & Trouilloud, 2007; Klassen, Perry, & Frenzel, 2012). The teacher's perception of himself/herself as a communicator has an important role to play in his/her self-concept since teaching cannot be effective without high-quality pedagogical communication (Patrick, Kaplan, Ryan, 2011; Reyes, Brackett, Rivers, White, & Salovey, 2012; Südkamp, Kaiser, & Möller, 2012; Kunter, Klusmann, Baumert, Richter, Voss, & Hachfeld, 2013).

The effectiveness of professional communication with pupils is influenced by the level of teachers' communicative culture (Grehnev, 1990), which consists of two components: internal (teacher's communicative competences) and external (modes of teacher's behavior in different pedagogical situations). In this regard, teachers' professional self-concept can be explored based on their evaluation of themselves as communicators in two aspects: the teachers' perception of their own communicative competences and the image of their own communicative behavior.

2. Methods

The research reported in this article used a quasi-experimental design. The teachers' perception of their own communicative behavior was studied using the method of anonymous poll of 196 school teachers. They were asked to write, relying on their implicit theories, about their modes of behavior in 10 difficult (conflict) pedagogical situations from two perspectives - those of an "ideal" and a "real" (typical, ordinary) teacher. Then they had to indicate how they personally would behave in each of the 10 situations, that is, whom the teachers identify with. The descriptions of pedagogical situations covered topics such as S1 - the teacher made a mistake in a formula; S2 - the teacher does not know the answer to a difficult question; S3 - pupils produce undisciplined actions while getting ready to go to the theater; S4 - pupils come to class late; S5 - a pupil gives prompts to his/her answering classmate; S6 - a pupil disagrees with the teacher's point of view; S7 - a pupil deliberately drops a book on the floor; S8 - the blackboard is waxed; S9 - when the teacher turns to the blackboard, pupils become noisy; S10 - the "class clown's" remarks (Rean, & Kolominskij, 1999, situations 1-4; Glotova, & Wilhelm, 2013, situations 5-10).

The teachers' image of their own communicative competences was explored using the technique of multiple-identification semantic differential (Petrenko, 2010). Earlier group discussions with other teachers resulted in the preparation of a list of 21 communicative competences necessary for effective pedagogical communication. One hundred sixty-nine teachers were asked to assess using a 10-point scale each of those competences for five semantic differential objects such as "Me as teacher", "Novice teacher", "Skilled teacher", "Incapable teacher" and "Effective teacher".

3. Results

When answering questions about the behaviors of an "ideal" and a "real" (typical, ordinary) teacher in each of the 10 difficult pedagogical situations, all 196 teachers specified the modes of behavior in their sheets for answers, which subsequently allowed differentiating 109 different modes of behavior (from 8 to 16 for each of situations) based on content analysis.

After the teachers characterized the "ideal" and "real" teachers' behavior in 10 pedagogical situations, they were asked to indicate how they personally would behave in each of the situations. In the context of anonymous poll, the percentage of teachers who had trouble with identification ranged from 22.6% (Situation 2: "During a class one of the pupils asks the teacher a difficult question. The answer to it is outside the teacher's competence, who is, therefore, unable to give a correct answer to it") to 38.8% (Situation 10: "The teacher is having a lesson. Yet another question that the teacher addresses to the class is again answered by one of pupils with a caustic joke. The class bursts out laughing. The reputation of a "clown" has stuck firmly to this pupil among the teachers"). If

number of the teachers who have carried out identification to take in each of 10 situations for 100%, on the average 72% of them identified their own behavior in similar situations with behavior of the "ideal" teacher. The significance of differences between the percentage of teachers who identify themselves with an "ideal" teacher and the percentage of teachers who identify themselves with a "real" (typical, ordinary) teacher was assessed for each of 10 situations based on 9* criterion - Fisher's angular transformation.

Table 1. Self-identification of Teachers' Own Behaviors with the Behaviors of an "Ideal" and a "Real" (typical, ordinary) Teachers

Difficult (Conflict) Pedagogical Situations

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10

"Ideal" Teacher (%) 74.5 77.5 69.8 61.9 69.5 76.7 76.9 75.2 70.5 70.8

"Real" Teacher (%) 25.5 22.5 30.2 38.1 30.5 23.3 23.1 24.8 29.5 29.2

Ф* 8.599 9.814 6.540 3.934 6.410 9.188 9.160 8.485 6.599 6.647

f*crit.=2.31; p<0,01

As seen in Table 1, in all ten situations teachers identify their own behavior with that of an "ideal" teacher much more frequently than with "real" teacher's behavior at a high level of statistical significance. The percentage of identifications with an "ideal" teacher varies between 77.5% for situation 2 (see its description above) and 61.9% for situation 4 ("The bell finished ringing. The corridor is empty. But there is one pupil left behind, slightly out of breath. Looked back and slipped in a class. Behind him two more pupils want to rush to a class. And this is not the first time this happens..."). In general, it is possible to say that many teachers believe that their own behavior in difficult pedagogical situations conforms to the professional ideal well enough.

The self-evaluation of communicative competences using the semantic differential technique was performed by 169 teachers. The resulting average scores of teachers' estimations of each of his/her 21 communicative competences varied from 7.39 points to 8.70 on a scale of 1 to 10. The scores every teacher gave himself/herself on 21 competences were summed up to calculate an average individual score, viewed as the measure of the teacher's self-evaluation as professional communicator. Based on the average individual scores obtained for all 169 teachers, upon the calculation of mean and standard deviations for the entire sample, teachers were classified into three groups of different levels of professional self-esteem: low (4.93-7.07 points), average (7.08-9.01 points) and high (9.02-9.76 points).

Subsequently, average scores for the semantic differential object "Me as teacher" were calculated for each of 21 competences with regard to the entire sample of 169 teachers and with regard to the groups of teachers with low, average and high self-evaluation of communicative competences.

Table 2. Average Scores of Separate Communicative Competences for the Total Sample and for the Three Groups of Teachers with Low, Average and High Self-Esteem

Competences М (n=169) М (n=31) М (n=116) М (n

Empathy 8,33 8,55 9,59 9.50

Ability to be dialog 8,11 6,39 8,32 9,45

Self-regulation 7,67 6,48 7,66 9,41

Adequate conduct in a conflict situation 8,03 7,00 8,10 9,09

Ability to listen 8,70 7,23 8,87 9,86

Flexibility of conduct 7,92 6,06 8,16 9,27

Ability to modulate one's emotions 7,54 6,39 7,65 8,64

Ability to put oneself in another person's situation 7,98 6,35 8,12 9,55

Ability to manage discussion 7,77 5,94 7,99 9,18

Ability to use means of communication 8,27 6,45 8,50 9,59

Patience 8,17 6,94 8,29 9,23

Diagnostics of group of pupils 7,66 6,03 7,87 8,82

Emotionality 8,38 6,52 8,60 9,86

Ability to rally a group of pupils 7,52 5,81 7,66 9,18

Concentration on something positive in a pupil 7,39 5,84 7,44 9,43

Ability to relieve emotional tension 7,91 5,87 8,14 9,55

Ability to motivate pupils and get them interested 8,02 6,26 8,23 9,36

Ability to set objectives and achieve them 8,19 7,03 8,26 9,52

Ability to analyze 8,27 6,97 8,36 9,64

Self-improvement 8,55 7,16 8,68 9,82

Ability of self-reflection 8,50 7,87 8,59 8,91

Table 2 shows that the three teachers groups differ in self-evaluation of all 21 communicative competences. As seen in Table 2, the mean values for the total sample of 169 teachers primarily derive from the results demonstrated by the group of the average level of competence self-evaluation as the most numerous one.

With a view to unveiling what is hidden behind low or high scores in the teachers' self-evaluation of communicative competences, we consider how teachers from the three above-mentioned groups assess with respect to the same communicative competences four more semantic differential objects such as "Effective teacher", "Skilled teacher", "Novice teacher", and "Incapable teacher". The minimum and maximum average scores obtained for any of 21 communicative competences were compared with regard to every object.

Table 3. Results of Self-evaluation of Five Semantic Differential Objects by Teachers with Different Levels of Professional Self-esteem (Specifying the Minimum and Maximum Average Scores for Competences) Self-esteem

Low (n=31) Average (n=116) High (n=22)

mean mean mean

min max min Max min max

Me as teacher 5.81 7.87 7.44 8.87 8.64 9.86

Effective teacher 6.68 9.55 7.91 9.59 9.17 9.96

Skilled teacher 6.65 8.68 7.77 9.26 8.83 9.72

Novice teacher 3.90 7.74 4.70 7.67 4.64 7.70

Incapable teacher 1.68 5.29 2.65 4.69 2.17 4.41

M (min, max) 4.49 7.83 6.09 8.02 6.69 8.33

As seen in Table 3, the group demonstrating the lowest scores given by teachers to themselves as communicators, on average, tends to give lower scores on communicative competences and when characterizing other semantic differential objects. The opposite trend is demonstrated by the high self-esteem group. This allows concluding that the reason is not just low or high self-esteem but the peculiarities of subjective assessment scales used by each particular teacher. So, the question is whether the tendency to give lower scores to oneself and other people evidences low self-esteem and reduced level of subjective psychological well-being in a teacher.

In view of the above, not only the fact that teachers in the three aforesaid groups evaluate differently their communicative competences but also the other differences among the groups deserve interest. Therefore, in each of three groups the object "Me as teacher" underwent Spearman's correlation analysis with the four remaining semantic differential objects based on the entire set of 21 communicative competences.

Table 4. Correlations of the Object "Me as Teacher" and Other Semantic Differential Objects in Three Groups of Teacher

Self-esteem

Low (n=31) Average (n=116) High (n=22)

Me as teacher Me as teacher Me as teacher

Effective teacher 0.14 0.40 0.42

Skilled teacher 0.21 0.38 0.27

Novice teacher 0.10 0.23 -0.27

Incapable teacher -0.03 -0.11 -0.69

r crit.=0.43; p<0,05; r crit.=0,54; p<0,01; r crit.=0,65; p<0,001

Table 4 shows that in the group of high self-evaluation of communicative competences there is negative correlation between the assessment of oneself as a teacher, and the assessment of "Incapable teacher" at a high level of statistical significance (p<0.001). In other words, the professional self-concept of teachers from that group is characterized by clear understanding that they are not incapable teachers. It gives them self-confidence, boosts their subjective well-being and builds positive attitudes toward the outer world and themselves (Holmes, E., 2004; Collie, Shapka, Perry, 2012). Furthermore, in the group of teachers with high self-esteem, the correlation with the "Effective teacher" demonstrates a distinct trend to be significant and is slightly below 5% significance rate. The group of average self-evaluation of communicative competences does not have any statistically significant correlations but shows a fairly distinct trend to be significant for the object "Me as teacher" and "Effective teacher," staying slightly below 5% significance rate, and a less distinct trend for "Skilled teacher." As for the group of low self-evaluation of communicative competences, the object "Me as teacher" does not demonstrate even clear trends towards correlation with any object.

In addition, within each of three groups with different levels of professional self-esteem, we considered correlations among 21 communicative competences and identified the communicative competences with the greatest number of correlations in every group. It should be noted that in all three groups each of 21 competences demonstrate one or more statistically significant correlations.

The communicative competences with the greatest number of correlations with other competences vary among the groups with different levels of professional self-esteem. Our research shows that in case of low professional self-esteem the greatest number of correlations is demonstrated by competences such as "empathy," "patience," the "ability to listen"; in case of average professional self-esteem, the "ability to be in dialog," the "ability to listen" and "diagnostics of group of pupils"; in case of high professional self-esteem, the "ability to motivate pupils and get them interested" and the "ability to use means of communication".

4. Discussion and conclusion

The analysis of findings shows that, for some school teachers, the situation of identification of their own modes of behavior in difficult (conflict) pedagogical situations with the modes of behavior of a "real" or an "ideal" teacher, even in the context of anonymous poll, is a situation of social appraisal, which raises their anxiety levels, triggers low self-confidence and results in partial instruction execution. Therefore, having specified an "ideal" and a "real" (typical, ordinary) teachers' behavior in each of 10 difficult pedagogical situations, some teachers do not indicate in any cases how they personally would behave in such situations. This is possible evidence of their unresolved traumatic experiences of being in such situations and triggered resistance whenever they are mentioned. On the other hand, most of those who accomplished the task to identify their own modes of behavior with those of an "ideal" or a "real" teacher are prone to demonstrate their conformity to the ideals of professional behavior.

Different competences making up the teacher's self-image as communicator, in the groups of different levels of professional self-esteem, have different roles to play in the breakdown of correlations - in the range from central, essential to less meaningful. The way the above-listed competences correlate in the different groups of teachers deserves interest. For example, the "patience" in the group of low professional self-esteem demonstrates a fairly high (for such group) number of significant correlations with other competences, whereas in the group of average professional self-esteem it accounts for not more than half of the greatest number of correlations identified for that

group; in the group of high professional self-esteem, the "patience" produced only one significant correlation. By contrast, the "ability to use means of communication" ranked first in the number of significant correlations in the group of high professional self-esteem, ranks near bottom in the group of average self-esteem in the number of correlations and demonstrates just one of significant correlation in the low self-esteem group.

Consequently, in the group of low professional self-esteem, "patience" has a key role to play whereas "ability to use means of communication" is considered to be of less meaningful; in the high professional self-esteem group, on the contrary, "ability to use means of communication" is number one whereas "patience" is less meaningful. The role of the "ability to motivate pupils and get them interested" is of paramount importance in the group of high professional self-esteem, somewhat lower in the case of the average self-esteem group, and even less meaningful in the group of low professional self-esteem. A similar trend is demonstrated by the "ability to be in dialog": it is ranked first in the number of significant correlations in the group of average professional self-esteem, has a somewhat smaller role to play in case of low self-esteem and has only one significant correlation in the group of high professional self-esteem.

Thus, there are notable differences among the groups of teachers with different levels of self-evaluation as communicators. Moreover, the peculiarities demonstrated by the low self-esteem group make its members more vulnerable in the difficult (conflict) situations of pedagogical communication. In general, it is possible to say that a teacher's self-concept includes his/her self-evaluation as communicator, affecting his/her subjective psychological well-being and occupational satisfaction. Teachers with low self-esteem need psychological maintenance, directed on increasing their psychological well-being.

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