The Impacts of Reflective Teaching and Emotion Regulation on Work Engagement: Into Prospect of Effective Teaching in Higher Education

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of General Courses, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran

2 Department of English Language, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, University of Gonabad, Gonabad, Iran

3 Teaching English and Linguistics Department, Ayatollah Ozma Borujerdi University, Borujerd, Iran



Reflective teaching (RT) and emotion regulation (ER) empowers teachers to observe and evaluate themselves. Despite the long history of RT and ER, little is known about how they can influence teacher work engagement (WE). Thereby, the current research aimed at examining a structural model of English as a Foreign Language university professors’ RT, ER, and WE. In so doing, the researchers administered the English Language Teacher Reflective Inventory, The Language Teacher Emotion Regulation Inventory, and The Engaged Teacher Scale to 341 EFL university professors. They used a Structural Equation Modelling to analyze the collected data. Findings reflected that university professors with higher reflective teaching practices were more engaged in job duties. Moreover, the findings documented that the participants who were more reflective in their teaching had higher emotion regulation. The findings offer some implications for different stakeholders.


Akbari, R. (2007). Reflections on reflection: A critical appraisal of reflective practices in L2 teacher education. System, 35(2), 192-207.  
Akbari, R., Behzadpoor, F., & Dadvand, B. (2010). Development of English language teaching reflection inventory. System, 38(2), 211-227.
Aliakbari, M., Khany, R., & Adibpour, M. (2020). EFL teachers’ reflective practice, job satisfaction, and school context variables: exploring possible relationships. TESOL Journal, 11(1), 1-20.
Alipour, S., Kashkouli, Z., & Ghadiri, M. (2021). Validating factor structure of the Persian version of emotion regulation strategies inventory among Iranian EFL university teachers. Applied Research on English Language, 10(1), 81-104.
Amini Faskhodi, A., & Siyyari, M. (2018). Dimensions of work engagement and teacher burnout: A study of relations among Iranian EFL teachers. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 43(1), 78-93.
Amirian, S. M. R., Ghaniabadi, S., Heydarnejad, T., & Abbasi, S. (2022). The contribution of critical thinking and self-efficacy beliefs to teaching style preferences in higher education. Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education,
Aslan, A., Hakkı Erten, İ., & Dikilitaş, K. (2022). In-service EFL teachers’ engagement in reflexive practice via video enhanced observation. Reflective Practice, 23(3), 422-436, 10.1080/14623943.2022.2042240
Ayoobiyan, H., & Rashidi, N. (2021). Can reflective teaching promote resilience among Iranian EFL teachers? A mixed-method design, Reflective Practice, 22(3), 293-305,
Bakker, A. B., Albrecht, S. L., & Leiter, M. P. (2011). Key questions regarding work engagement. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 20(1), 4-28.
Barni, D., Danioni, F., & Benevene, P. (2019). Teachers’ self-efficacy: The role of personal values and motivations for teaching. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 1-7.
Bleakley, J., Woolcott, G., Yeigh, T., & Whannell, R. (2020). Reflecting on emotions during teaching: developing affective-reflective skills in novice teachers using a novel critical moment protocol. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 45(10). 55-75
Burić, I., & Macuka, I. (2017). Self-efficacy, emotions and work engagement among teachers: A two wave cross-lagged analysis. Journal of Happiness Studies, 19(7), 1917-1933.
Burić, I., & Moè, A. (2020). What makes teachers enthusiastic: The interplay of positive affect, self-efficacy and job satisfaction. Teaching and Teacher Education, 89, 103008.
Chang, M. L., & Taxer, J. (2020). Teacher emotion regulation strategies in response to classroom misbehavior. Teachers and Teaching, 41(4), 218–227.
Chen, J., & Cheng, T. (2021). Review of research on teacher emotion during 1985–2019: a descriptive quantitative analysis of knowledge production trends. European Journal of Psychology of Education.
Dewey, J. (1933). How we think: A Restatement of the relation of reflective thinking to the educative process. D.C. Heath.
Ellsworth, P. C., & Scherer, K. R. (2003). Appraisal processes in emotion. In R. J. Davidson, K. R. Scherer, & H. H. Goldsmith (Eds.), Handbook of affective sciences (pp. 572-595). Oxford University Press.
Farrell, T. S. C. (2015). Promoting teacher reflection in second language education: A framework for TESOL professionals. Routledge.
Farrell, T. S. C. (2016). Surviving the transition shock in the first year of teaching through reflective practice. System, 61, 12-19. http://doi:10.1016/j.system.2016.07.005
Fathi, J., & Derakhshan, A. (2019). Teacher self-efficacy and emotional regulation as predictors of teaching stress: an investigation of Iranian English language teachers. Teaching English Language, 13(2), 117-143.
Fathi, J., Greenier, V., & Derakhshan, A. (2021). Self-efficacy, reflection, and burnout among Iranian EFL teachers: The mediating role of emotion regulation.
Iranian Journal of Language Teaching Research, 9(2), 13-37.
Frenzel, A. C., Daniels, L., & Burić, I. (2021). Teacher emotions in the classroom and their implications for students. Educational Psychologist, 56(4), 250-264.
Frenzel, A. C., Fiedler, D., Marx, A. K. G., Reck, C., & Pekrun, R. (2020). Who enjoys teaching, and when? Between- and within-person evidence on teachers’ appraisal-emotion links. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 1-15. 
Ghasemzadeh, S., Nemati, M., & Fathi, J. (2019). Teacher self-efficacy and reflection as predictors of teacher burnout: an investigation of Iranian English language teachers. Issues in Language Teaching, 8(2), 25–50. http://doi:10.22054/ilt.2020.49009.451
Gheith, E., & Aljaberi, N. (2018). Reflective teaching practices in teachers and their attitudes toward professional self-development. International Journal of Progressive Education 14(3), 161-181.
Gkonou, C., & Miller, E. R. (2020). An exploration of language teacher reflection, emotion labor, and emotional capital. TESOL Quarterly, 55(1), 134-155. https://10.1002/tesq.580  
Gorgievski, M. J., Bakker, A. B., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2010). Work engagement and
workaholism: comparing the self-employed and salaried employees. The
Journal of Positive Psychology, 5
(1), 83-96.
Greenier, V., Derakhshan, A., & Fathi, J. (2021). Emotion regulation and psychological well-being
in teacher work engagement: A case of British and Iranian English language teachers.
System, 97, 102446.
Gross, J. J. (1998a). Antecedent- and response-focused emotion regulation: Divergent consequences for experience, expression, and physiology. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74(1), 224-237.  
Gross, J. J. (1998b). The emerging field of emotion regulation: An integrative review. Review of General Psychology, 2(3), 271–299.
Gross, J. J., & Barrett, L. F. (2011). Emotion generation and emotion regulation: One or two depends on your point of view. Emotional Review, 3(1), 8–16.
Gross, J. J., & John, O. P. (2003). Individual differences in two emotion regulation processes: implications for affect, relationships, and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85(2), 348-365. 
Gross, J. J., & Thompson, R. A. (2007). Emotion regulation: Conceptual foundations. In J. J. Gross (Ed.), Handbook of emotion regulation (pp. 3-24). Guilford Press.
Gross, J. J. (2014). Emotion regulation: Conceptual and empirical foundations. In J. J. Gross (Ed.), Handbook of emotion regulation (pp. 3–20). The Guilford Press.
Gross, J. J. (2015). Emotion regulation: Current status and future prospects. Psychological Inquiry, 26(1), 1-26.
Hair, J. F., Anderson, R. E., Tatham, R. L., & Black, W. C. (1998). Multivariate data analysis
(5th ed.). Prentice Hall.
Han, Y. & Wang, Y. (2021). Investigating the correlation among Chinese EFL teachers' self-efficacy, work engagement, and reflection. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 1-14. 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.763234
Heydarnejad, T., Hosseini Fatemi, A., & Ghonsooly, B. (2021a). The interplay among self-regulation, emotions and teaching styles in higher education: a path analysis approach. Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, 14(2), 594-609.
Heydarnejad, T., Zareian, G., Ghaniabadi, S., & Adel, S. M. R. (2021b). Measuring language teacher emotion regulation: development and validation of the language teacher emotion regulation inventory at workplace (LTERI). Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 1-12.
Jennings, P. A., & Greenberg, M. T. (2009). The prosocial classroom: Teacher social and emotional competence in relation to student and classroom outcomes. Review of Educational Research, 79(1), 491-525.
Jiang, J., Vauras, M., Volet, S., & Wang, Y. (2016). Teachers’ emotions and emotion regulation strategies: Self- and students’ perceptions. Teaching and Teacher Education, 54, 22-31.
Jöreskog, K.G. (1990). New developments in LISREL: analysis of ordinal variables using polychoric correlations and weighted least squares. Quality and Quantity, 24(4), 387-404.
Kahn, W. A. (1990). Psychological conditions of personal engagement and disengagement at work. Academy of Management Journal, 33(4), 692-724.  
Keleynikov, M., Benatov. J., & Berger, R. (2022). Preschool teachers' psychological distress and work engagement during COVID-19 Outbreak: The Protective role of mindfulness and emotion regulation. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(5), 26–45.
Klassen, R. M., Yerdelen, S., & Durksen, T. L. (2013). Measuring teacher engagement: development of the engaged teachers scale (ETS). Frontline Learning Research, 1(2), 33-52.
Kobylińska, D., & Kusev, P. (2019). Flexible emotion regulation: How situational demands and individual differences influence the effectiveness of regulatory strategies. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 72-75. 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00072
Kunnan, A. J. (1998). An introduction to structural equation modeling for language assessment research. Language Testing, 15(3), 295-332.
Li, R., Liu, H., Chen, Y., Yao, M. (2021). Why teachers want to leave? The roles of achievement goals, burnout and perceived school context. Learning and Individual Differences, 89, 102032.
Li, S. (2022). Chinese English as a foreign language teachers’ immunity and mindfulness as predictors of their work engagement. Frontiers in Psychology, 13, 1-8. 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.874356
Malmir, A., & Mohammadi, P. (2018). Teachers’ reflective teaching and self-efficacy as predicators of their professional success: A Case of Iranian EFL teachers. Research in English Language Pedagogy, 6(1), 117–138.
Mischel, W., & Ayduk, O. (2004). Willpower in a cognitive-affective processing system: The dynamics of delay of gratification. In R. F. Baumeister & K. D. Vohs (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulation: Research, theory, and applications (pp. 99-129). The Guilford Press.
Morris, S., & King, J. (2018). Teacher frustration and emotion regulation in university language teaching. Chinese Journal of Applied Linguistics, 41(4), 433-452.
Mostafavi, M., Shokrpour, N., & Afraz, S. (2022). The Relationship between Iranian teachers' experience and education, and their written feedback on their students' papers. Teaching English Language, 16(2), 31-62. Doi:10.22132/tel.2022.15483
Mulyani, S., Salameh, A.A., Komariah, A., Timoshin, A., Hashim, N. A. A. N., Fauziah R.S.P., Mulyaningsih, M., Ahmad, I. & U l din S.M., (2021). Emotional regulation as a remedy for teacher burnout in special schools: evaluating school climate, teacher’s work-life balance and children behavior. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 1-10.
Namaziandost, E., Heydarnejad, T., Rahmani Doqaruni, V., & Azizi, Z. (2022). Modeling the contributions of EFL university professors’ emotion regulation to self-efficacy, work engagement, and anger. Current Psychology, 41(12), 1-15.  
Oga-Baldwin, W. L. Q., & Nakata, Y. (2020). How teachers promote young language learners’ engagement. Language Teaching for Young Learners, 2(1), 101–130.  
Rahimpour, H., Amirian, S., Adel, S., & Zareian, G. (2020). A model of the factors predicting English language teacher immunity: A path analysis. Indonesian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 10(1), 73–83.
Rahmati, T., Sadeghi, K., & Ghaderi, F. (2019). English as a foreign language teacher immunity: an integrated reflective practice. Iranian Journal of Language Teaching Research, 7(3), 91-107.
Rashtchi, M., & Sanayi Mashhour, H. (2019). Extravert and introvert EFL teachers: How do reflective teaching and burnout relate? Journal of Applied Linguistics and Language Research, 6(3), 73-88.
Richards, J. C. (2020). Exploring emotions in language teaching.  RELC Journal, 53(1), 1-15.
Rezai, A., Namaziandost, E., & Çakmak, F. (2022). Job satisfaction of Iranian EFL teachers: Exploring the role of gender, education level, teaching experience, and service location. Teaching English Language, 15(2), 201-228.
Schaufeli, W. B., & Salanova, M. (2011). Work engagement: On how to better catch a slippery concept. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 20(1), 39–46.
Schaufeli, W. B., Taris, T. W., & van Rhenen, W. (2008). Workaholism, burnout, and work engagement: Three of a kind or three different kinds of employee well-being? Applied Psychology, 57(2), 173-203.
Schmeichel, B. J., & Baumeister, R. F. (2004). Self-regulatory strength. In R. F. Baumeister & K. D. Vohs (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulation: Research, theory, and applications (pp. 84-98). The Guilford Press.
Schreiber, J. B., Nora, A., Stage, F. K., Barlow, E. A., & King, J. (2006). Reporting structural equation modeling and confirmatory factor analysis results: A review. The Journal of Educational Research, 99(6), 323-338.
Shirazizadeh, M., Tajik, L., & Amanzadeh, H. (2019). Reflection, resilience and role stress among Iranian EFL teachers: a mixed methods study. Issues in Language Teaching, 8(2), 1-24.
Shu, K. (2022). Teachers’ Commitment and self-efficacy as predictors of work engagement and well-being. Frontiers in Psychology. 13, 1-15.
Silva, D. I., Jr., Ferreira, M. C., & Valentini, F. (2020). Psychometric properties of the Engaged Teachers Scale (ETS). Psicologia: Teoria e Prática, 22(1), 109-126.  
Sutton, R. E., & Harper, E. (2009). Teachers’ emotion regulation. In L. J. Saha, & A. G. Dworkin (Eds.), International handbook of research on teachers and teaching (pp. 389–401). Springer.
Song, J. (2021). Expanding teacher reflection on emotions in online teaching: grappling with teacher identity and student (non)participation. Iranian Journal of Language Teaching Research, 9(3), 77-91.
Taris, T. W., Schaufeli, W. B., & Shimazu, A. (2010). The push and pull of work: The differences between workaholism and work engagement. In A. B. Bakker (Ed.) & M. P. Leiter, Work engagement: A handbook of essential theory and research (pp. 39-53). Psychology Press.
Taylor, L. P., Newberry, M., & Clark, S. K. (2020). Patterns and progression of emotion experiences and regulation in the classroom. Teaching and Teacher Education, 93, 103081.  
Taxer, J. L., & Gross, J. J. (2018). Emotion regulation in teachers: The “why” and “how”. Journal of Teaching and Teacher Education, 74, 180-189.
Topchyan, R., & Woehler, C. (2020). Do teacher status, gender, and years of teaching experience impact job satisfaction and work engagement? Education and Urban Society, 001312452092616.
Van Beek, I., Taris, T. W., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2011). Workaholic and work engaged employees: Dead ringers or worlds apart? Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 16(4), 468-482. 
Xie, F. (2021). A study on Chinese EFL teachers’ work engagement: The predictability power of emotion regulation and teacher resilience. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 1-11. 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.735969 
Xiyun, S., Fathi, J., Shirbagi, N., & Mohammaddokht, F. (2022). A structural model of teacher self-efficacy, emotion regulation, and psychological wellbeing among English teachers. Frontiers in Psychology, 13, 1-8.
Zeng, G., Chen, X., Cheung, H. Y., & Peng, K. (2019). Teachers’ growth mindset and work engagement in the Chinese educational context: well-being and perseverance of effort as mediators. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 1-14.
Zhang, D., He, J. & Fu, D. (2021). How can we improve teacher’s work engagement? based on Chinese experiences. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 1-14.
Zheng, S., Heydarnejad, T, & Aberash, A. (2022). Modeling the interplay between emotion regulation, self-efficacy, and l2 grit in higher education. Frontiers in Psychology, 13, 1-15.
Wang, Y., Derakhshan, A., & Azari Noughabi, M. (2022). The interplay of EFL teachers’ immunity, work engagement, and psychological well-being: Evidence from four Asian countries. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development,