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Escritos de Psicología (Internet)

On-line version ISSN 1989-3809Print version ISSN 1138-2635

Abstract

ULLOA, Maria; EVANS, Ian  and  JONES, Linda. The effects of emotional awareness training on teachers' ability to manage the emotions of preschool children: an experimental study. Escritos de Psicología [online]. 2016, vol.9, n.1, pp.1-14. ISSN 1989-3809.  http://dx.doi.org/10.5231/psy.writ.2015.1711.

This article describes the process and results of a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) on teachers' ability to manage the emotions of preschool children during a constrained play activity. Thirty early childhood education teachers participated in the study. Half of the participants were taught strategies to enhance their own emotional competence. The control group was provided with standard information on child development. The experimental group was trained in active strategies on emotion coaching, emotional schemas, reflective practice focused on emotions, and mindfulness training. The teachers' outcomes were assessed in situ during a pretend play session with small groups of preschoolers. The dependent variables were observed occurrences of different components of emotional competence in teachers. Significant statistical differences were found between the two groups across the three different emotional competence skills (regulation, expression, and knowledge) demonstrated by the early childhood teachers during a game situation. This experimental study highlights the processes through which teachers support the emotional competence of young children, and the importance of the role of early childhood teachers' own emotional competence on the socialisation of children's emotions. Most importantly, it provides evidence, based on the influence of emotion-focused teacher-training and reflective practices, that teachers' emotional skills should be supported such that they can optimally meet the emotional needs of young children.

Keywords : Randomised Control Trial; Emotion-focused Training; Reflective Practices; Early Childhood Education.

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