14. Emotion Work at the Frontline of STEM Teaching

In: Critical Issues and Bold Visions for Science Education

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STEM education disciplines are facing a dilemma internationally. There is high demand for qualified high quality teachers in science, technology, and mathematics subjects in schools and a trend towards high attrition rates of teachers in the early years. Teacher attrition has been associated with, in part, the high demand for emotion work required on a daily basis in classrooms. Despite this fact, there is dearth of research on teachers’ emotion management in specific disciplinary fields such as science and mathematics education. In this chapter, we address the need for research on teacher emotion work in science and mathematics education through sociological analysis of the lived experiences of two authors. Using narrative vignettes of classroom experiences, we consider what the sociology of emotions can contribute to understanding the emotion work required in science and mathematics classrooms. Following an analysis of the two vignettes, we offer suggestions for research, policy, and practice for addressing STEM teachers’ emotional work through teacher education courses and professional learning.