student emotions

Teacher training does wonders for students’ emotional regulation

A new university study confirms that teachers who are trained on pro-social classroom behavior can help students manage their emotions

When teachers participated in a training program focused on pro-social classroom behavior, their students became more socially competent and better able to regulate their emotions than students in classrooms without trained teachers, according to new research from the University of Missouri (MU).

Past research shows that students who are able to regulate their emotions are more likely to be academically successful.

Wendy Reinke and Keith Herman, professors in MU’s College of Education, studied more than 100 teachers and 1,817 students from kindergarten to third grade to see if teachers could support students’ emotional and behavioral growth through the Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management Program.

The program uses videos and training sessions, along with role-playing and coaching, to help teachers learn proactive management strategies such as using behavior-specific praise, building positive relationships with students and considering proximity to reduce disruptive behavior. The study found that teachers in the training group increased their positive interactions with students by 64 percent versus 53 percent for teachers in the control group without the training.

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