The Relationship between Teachers' Emotional Intelligence and Sense of Humor, and Student Achievement

by Fernandez, Susan, Ed.D., UNION INSTITUTE AND UNIVERSITY, 2011, 154 pages; 3467199


This study examined the role of teachers' emotional intelligence (EI) and sense of humor (SH) and its impact on students' academic achievement. Utilizing the BarOn Emotional Intelligence Inventory (EQ-i) to measure teachers' emotional intelligence and Thorson and Powell's Multidimensional Sense of Humor Scale (MSHS) to measure teachers' sense of humor, 40 reading teachers in grades 2–8 of a K-8 public school in South Florida completed the self-reporting survey instruments. Students of the teachers participated in baseline (pre) and interim (post) benchmarked reading assessments to determine changes in academic achievement. Four types of relationships were analyzed: (1) the relationship between emotional intelligence and sense of humor; (2) the relationship between teachers' EI and their students' assessment score changes; (3) the relationship between teachers' SH and their students' assessment score changes; and (4) the relationship between teachers' EI and SH (combined) and their students' assessment score changes. A correlational research design was implemented. Descriptive statistics were used to examine the variables of the study and Pearson product-moment correlation procedures were used to determine the strength and nature of the relationships. The findings of this research demonstrated that there are significant and positive relationships between all variables of the study. Through regression analysis and partial correlation, emotional intelligence, in comparison to sense of humor, was found to have a stronger relationship to students' positive score changes. This study has the possibility of changing hiring and evaluation practices of teachers, curriculums of teacher preparation programs in institutions of higher education, teacher professional development activities, and the relationships among school stakeholders. This study may also initiate changes in the value systems within schools so that the psychological needs of not only students, but also teachers and other school personnel gain importance. Positive uses of humor may also be embraced as an instructional tool and a means of effective communication to enhance academics due to the findings of this study.

Keywords: emotional intelligence, sense of humor, academic achievement

AdviserMichael A. Raffanti
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsEducational psychology; Teacher education
Publication Number3467199

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