Students’ and teachers’ emotions. A study with children’s drawings

Anna Silvia Bombi, Eleonora Cannoni, Francesco Gallì, Anna Di Norcia


The study describes the emotions of students and teachers in positive and negative interpersonal situations, as they are depicted in the drawings of 245 children from 2nd to 5th grade of primary school (7 to 11 years of age). The Scale of Emotions from PAIR was used to categorize the emotions of pupil and teacher in two situations (positive and negative) and to derive the correspondent Emotional climates. Chi-squared was employed for various comparisons. (1) The distribution of Emotions categories showed, as expected, a prevalence of positive, shared emotions in the positive situation and a prevalence of negative, often contrasting emotions in the negative situation. (2) Gender difference emerged only in the positive situation, in which girls represented themselves as happy more frequently than boys: (3) Grade difference emerged only in the negative situations, in which children of the 5th grade represented their teacher with a neutral face more often than children of the 2nd grade, who tended to represent her as happy or sad. These results are interpreted in the light of boys and girls school adaptation and their increasing ability to understand and represent problematic interpersonal situations in school.


Students’ and teachers’ emotions; Interpersonal situations; Children’s drawings

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