The Roles of Teacher Emotional Intelligence And Cultural Intelligence In Establishing Positive Social-Emotional Dynamics With Diverse Student Grups



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The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine factors that may influence diverse class climates and teacher-student relationships (TSRs) with two hundred and five (N=205) elementary school teachers. Participants were asked to respond to surveys regarding their beliefs and perceptions of their emotional and cultural capacities in working with diverse student groups. It was hypothesized that teacher factors such as teacher emotional intelligence (EI), cultural intelligence (CQ), diversity self-efficacy (DSE), and interaction self-efficacy (ISE) would all directly influence diverse class climates and TSRs. Second, it was hypothesized that DSE would partially mediate the effects of CQ, and ISE would partially mediate the effects of EI on the outcomes. Finally, it was hypothesized that EI and CQ would covary. SEM analysis indicated that teacher EI, but not CQ, DSE or ISE, influenced TSRs in diverse student groups. As expected EI positively influenced ISE, CQ positively influenced DSE, and EI and CQ covaried. No support was found for the second hypothesis due to the lack of discriminant validity among the measures. Although the CQ construct, as a whole, did not influence TSRs, its relevance was indicated by the influence of its subscales on EI and TSR conflict. Cultural knowledge, a CQ subcomponent, had an independent, inverse effect on TSR conflict and an inverse relationship to DSE. These findings may imply that teachers who exhibited higher levels of cultural knowledge experienced less conflict in their TSRs and were less confident in working with diverse student groups. Interestingly, results also indicated effects of CQ subcomponents on teacher EI and EI subcomponents. The results highlight the importance of teacher EI and cultural knowledge in working with diverse student groups. It also provides initial insight into the relationships between and among EI and CQ subcomponents. Limitations and educational implications are discussed.



Class Climate, Diversity, Social-Emotional, Teacher Cultural Intelligence, Teacher Emotional Intelligence, Teacher-Student Relationships