A Typology of Student-Teachers’ Coping with Stressful Classroom Events

  • Wilfried Admiraal Leiden University Graduate School of Teaching, Leiden, the Netherlands


In teacher education programs, student teachers gain their first autonomous teaching experiences. While students regard the teaching practicum as the most valued part of their teacher education program, they also consider it to be the most stressful. Student teachers are most concerned about daily hassles in class, mostly related to poor student discipline. Yet they also consider direct interaction with students as the main source of their job satisfaction and a reason to enter the profession in the first place. This paradox could imply that feelings of stress do not so much result from the events themselves but from inadequate responses to classroom events. Based on cluster analysis of video-taped lessons and stimulated-recall interviews with 27 student teachers, a typology has been developed of student teachers’ coping with stressful classroom events in secondary education. Responses to classroom events have been grouped into four types of coping: Varying (a combination of problem-focused actions and teaching activities ignoring the problematic classroom event), Hestitating (hesitation to either approach or avoid the classroom event, arousing at the same time tension in the relationship with students), Problem-solving (a series of problem-focused actions), and Avoiding (avoiding or ignoring the problematic classroom event). These types vary along two underlying dimensions: avoidance-approach and calmness-agitation. The coping types particularly differed in the way student teachers approached, avoid or ignored the classroom event, how agitated they were and the length of the coping response. Implications for teacher education are discussed to support student teachers with more approach-coping strategies.
Jan 1, 2020
How to Cite
ADMIRAAL, Wilfried. A Typology of Student-Teachers’ Coping with Stressful Classroom Events. European Journal of Education, [S.l.], v. 3, n. 1, p. 6-17, jan. 2020. ISSN 2601-8624. Available at: <http://journals.euser.org/index.php/ejed/article/view/4590>. Date accessed: 28 jan. 2020.