KUWAIT EARLY CHILDHOOD TEACHERS’ REPORTED NEEDS AND PERCEIVED BENEFITS OF SOCIO-EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: A CASE STUDY

Open Access
Author:
Almukaimy, Mounerah M
Graduate Program:
Curriculum and Instruction
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
May 26, 2016
Committee Members:
  • Dr. James E. Johnson , Dissertation Advisor
  • Dr. James E. Johnson , Committee Chair
  • Dr. Rachel Wolkenhauer , Committee Member
  • Dr. Bernard Badiali, Committee Member
  • Dr. Edgar Yoder, Outside Member
Keywords:
  • Socio-emotional intelligence (SEI)
  • SEI awareness
  • professional domain
  • classroom processes
  • early childhood education (ECE)
Abstract:
Educators have proposed the integration of socio-emotional intelligence (SEI) competences to Early Childhood Education (ECE). Numerous scholars accept as valid theoretical approaches to SEI, as well as distinctive socio-emotional competences, measurement instruments, and educational methods. Vast literature exists on the positive effects that SEI has over classroom processes, including positive interactions, constructive and purposeful play, quality environment, and teacher-family partnerships. However, the nature of SEI studies in Kuwait showed a need for learning the impact of SEI on ECE instruction. This qualitative study explored the perceptions, skills, and reflections about SEI among four ECE teachers in Kuwait, who reported the effects of emotional intelligence over classroom processes after completing a professional development intervention designed to learn SEI competences. A secondary purpose was to identify practices to improve professional development methods with a focus on SEI. Using Goleman’s (1998) conceptual framework to have useful methods and instruments to collect concurrently qualitative data. The qualitative method in the study included the completion of six qualitative instruments. Results of the study suggested a scarcity of professional development activities in the topic of SEI, a lack of embedded SEI behaviors in the Kuwait educational system, the importance of cultural influences on SEI and interventions, existing tensions between teachers and parents, and the resurgence of educational goals as result of in-service education. Six recommendations are: (1) to increase professional development, (2) to implement reflective collaboration through communities of practice (CoPs), (3) to reduce perceived differences among members of the teaching community, (4) to increase cultural awareness through teamwork,(5) to improve parent-teacher relationships, and (6) to increase enthusiastic school involvement.