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Title: Teachers' perceptions of their use of humour in the primary classroom
Author: O'Connor, Janet
ISNI:       0000 0004 2745 3229
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2013
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Minimal qualitative research exists on primary teachers’ perceptions of their use of humour in the UK. This research is a contribution towards redressing this imbalance. Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight teachers who taught in the upper primary age range (ages seven to eleven years) in London. Analysis: Thematic analysis of the results identified five key themes which represented the ways in which teachers reported using humour in the classroom. Findings: Teachers reported using humour 1) to engage students in their learning, 2) facilitate relationships with their students and 3) as a coping mechanism. The ways in which teachers reported 4) varying their use of humour with their students were also discussed as well as their views on students’ age and ability to understand abstract forms of humour. Some teachers also discussed 5) caveats. The teachers defined and developed their own view of humour from their own perspectives. Implications: Implications for educational psychologists (EPs) included recommendations for EPs to disseminate the findings to schools, teachers in training and to other EPs who are advocates of the development of students’ well-being. Further implications included the use of humour to facilitate rapport between EPs and parents and as a communication skill in therapeutic relationships. Suggestions for future research were also presented. Conclusion: Humour should be part of the existing repertoire of human strengths already identified in positive psychology. This area should appeal to educational psychologists whose focus is on students’ ability to flourish in spite of adversities in school, relationships and in other areas of life.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Prof.) Qualification Level: Doctoral