Journal of East China Normal University(Educational Sciences) ›› 2019, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (6): 109-122.doi: 10.16382/j.cnki.1000-5560.2019.06.010

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Implications of Emotional Labour for Kindergarten Teaching: A Quantitative Study

Yin Jianqin1, Wu Weiying1, Zhang Quan2, Jia Yun1   

  1. 1. Early Childhood Education College, Jiangsu Second Normal University, Nanjing 210012, China;
    2. South Carolina Smart State Center for Healthcare Quality, University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health, Columbia, SC 29028, USA
  • Online:2019-06-25 Published:2019-11-22

Abstract: Emotional labor is a double-edged sword. In earlier studies, most researchers focus on the negative effects of emotional labor such as work-related stress, burnout and physical and mental health resulting from emotional labor. In more recent studies, researchers have taken notice of the positive effects of emotional labor such as increase in salary and actualization of self-achievement. Utilizing a sample of 1,040 teachers from different types of kindergartens, this study explores emotional labor among kindergarten teachers. The results show:(a) kindergarten teachers "seldom" display surface acting, "sometimes" or "often" display deep acting, and almost "always" display natural acting; (b) surface acting is positively related to teachers' work effort, teaching experience, and family interference; (c) deep acting has a negative effect on emotional exhaustion and low accomplishment while natural acting has a negative effect on low accomplishment and depersonalization. While the results are somewhat inconsistent with those in traditional studies in the area, they well reflect the uniqueness of emotional labor in preschool education and resonate with the international movement of reconstruction of early childhood education. Since the sense of professional achievement and satisfaction is crucial to raising social status of kindergarten teachers, this study also has implications for the development of professional standards for kindergarten teachers.

Key words: emotional labor, kindergarten teacher, professional standards