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Impact of The Five-Factor Model of Personality in Categorizing Personalities of Teachers

Introduction to Teacher Personality and Teaching

The academic success and wellbeing of the students in the classroom are highly influenced by classroom engagement (Bakkar, Vergel, and Kuntze, 2015). The classroom engagement is highly dependent on the student-teacher relationship (Jensen, 2013) which in turn is significantly affected by the personality of the teacher. The student usually needs to have a teacher who can effectively provide social, emotional, and instructional support to students resulting into better teacher-student relationship enhancing the functioning of classrooms (Suldo et al., 2009). One such model proposed to analyze the teacher's personality is the Five-Factor Model of personality. The present paper will analyze the different categories of teacher personalities which can be developed with the impact of Five-Factor Model of personality.

Five-Factor Model of Personality

The Five-Factor Model of personality is a psychological model providing the personality of the individual into five traits. These five traits which constitute this Five-Factor Model are extraversion, neuroticism, and openness to experience, conscientiousness and agreeableness. The paper will hereinafter analyze these traits with the personality of the teacher and its impact in the South African classrooms.

Extraversion: Active and Talkative

The presence of this particular trait leads to people who are having a fondness for large groups and gatherings where the individual is talkative and active in the group. The teachers of South Africa usually tend to have this trait of extraversion. This suggests that the classroom have a teacher who is pleasing, talkative, active, energetic and powerful before the students. Teachers who used to have a high level of extraversion display reflect this energy outward (Fielden et al. 2015) which in turn positively associated with the higher level of sensitivity communication disclosure and provision of social support (Wilt and Revelle 2009). It has been found that the teacher with this trait in South Africa is likely to have negative correlations with the changes in the educational system (Ngidi and Sibaya, 2002).

Neuroticism: Lack of Emotional Stability

Neuroticism means of behaviour having emotional instability and the person can be seen in an irritable and moody behaviour. Concerning the trait of neuroticism, it has been found that there is a positive correlation between the decision and time pressure in the South African classroom. Even, a similar correlation is also found with this trait between administrative problem and student misbehaviour. It has been found that a neurotic teacher is usually furious and overly reactive with acting irrationally and rigidly. Also, it has been evident that teachers who tend to be neurotic faces the greatest stress in the working environment (Borg and Riding, 1993).

Openness to Experience: Creating a Better World

The openness to experience refers to the intellect which indicates that an individual is having thoughtfulness, propensity for intellectual challenging task and inquisitiveness. The teachers with the trait of openness to experience are usually imaginative, creative and curious which is a good trait for building a better and healthy student-teacher engagement in the classroom. Such teachers even promote novelty and originality and are competent to recognize the emotion of their pupils. The result conducted by Kok and Meyer (2018) provided an unexpected lower score on openness to experience in a group of teachers of South Africa which indicates a group of teachers with a personality trait of unintelligence, inobservance and lacking the classroom (Pawlowska et al., 2014).

Conscientiousness: Responsibility Along with Achieving Attitude

The traits of conscientiousness is associated with responsibility and self-discipline along with proactivity and encompass competence for dutifulness, achievement strives along with deliberation (McCrae and Costa, 2010). The various studies have found that the trait of conscientiousness in the group selected from South African classroom provided an average score in the given study (Kok and Meyer, 2018) whereas a higher score has been expected as it will indicate a systematic, firm, hardworking, selective, self-disciplined trustworthy and responsible teachers.

Agreeableness: Sympathy and Empathy to Resolve Conflicts

Agreeableness refers to a behaviour composed of sympathy, empathy and kindness towards others. A teacher with the trait of agreeableness is likely to have the tendency to negotiate and resolve conflicts with engagement in behaviour that produces competitiveness and provides better interpersonal interaction and empathetic concern towards the student. This trait in a prospective teacher describes accommodation, collaboration, patience, helpfulness, calmness, affection, compassion, politeness and reasonableness which will definitely enhance the quality of the classroom (Chamorro-Premuzic, 2014). Although in this study in South Africa has provided a lower than expected score in this particular trait which indicates the tendency of unsympathetic, disrespectful, uncaring and manipulative. These counterproductive traits will deteriorate the quality of education (Department of Basic Education, Republic of South Africa, 2014).

Conclusion on Teacher Personality and Teaching

The analysis of this Five-Factor Model of personality concerning the traits of teacher and their personality, which can be impactful for the classroom of a nation like South Africa, suggest that the nation demands the adoption of these traits in the personality of the teacher in order to enhance the quality of the student-teacher relationship and improve the classroom engagement. The integration of these traits in the personality of the teacher will improve the quality of classroom engagement. The classrooms of South Africa have extraversion teachers positively collaborating on various aspects. Whereas neuroticism trait can lead to furious behavior among teachers. The rest of the traits of the Five-Factor Model of Personality in teachers is found to be lower than expected in the classroom of the nation which needs to be improved in order to facilitate the classroom experience for the students as well as teacher

References for Teacher Personality and Teaching

Bakkar, A., Vergel, A., and Kuntze, J. 2015. Student engagement and performance: A weekly diary study on the role of openness. Springer Science and Business Media, Vol. 39, no.1, 49–62.

Borg, W. R., and osn., M. D.1983. Educational research. New York: Longman.

Chamorro-Premuzic, T. 2014. Personality and individual differences (3rd ed). Oxford, England: BPS Blackwell.

Department of Basic Education, Republic of South Africa. 2014. Discipline in schools revisited: Striking a balance between ethics and legislation. Discipline Summit conducted in Boksburg, Available at: https://www.education.gov.za/Portals/0/Documents/Reports/Report% 20Discipline%20Summit%202014.pdf?ver=2015-10-29-141515-260. [Accessed on October 27, 2016].

Fielden, C., Kim, L. E., and MacCann, C. 2015. Extraversion. In J. D. Wright (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences (Second Edition) (pp. 623–627). Oxford: Elsevier.

Jensen, E. 2013. How poverty affects classroom engagement. Educational Leadership, Vol. 70, no. 8, 24–30.

McCrae, RR. and Costa, PT. 2010. NEO inventories for the NEO Personality Inventory-3 (NEO-PI3), NEO Five-Factor Inventory-3 (NEO-FFI-3), NEO Personality Inventory-Revised (NEO PI-R): Professional manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.

Ngidi, D. and Sibaya, P. 2002. Black Teachers' Personality Dimensions and Work-Related Stress Factors. South African Journal of Psychology, Vol. 32, no. 3.

Pawlowska. DK., Westerman, JW., Bergman, SM. and Huelsman, TJ. 2014. Student personality, classroom environment, and student outcomes: A personenvironment fit analysis. Learning and Individual Differences, Vol. 36, 180-193.

Suldo, S., Friedrich, A., White, T., Farmer, J., Minch, D., and Michalowski, J. 2009. Teacher Support and Adolescents' Subjective Well-Being: A Mixed-Methods Investigation. School Psychology Review. Vol. 38. 67-85.

Wilt, J., and Revelle, W. 2009. Extraversion. In M. R. Leary & R. H. Hoyle (Eds.), Handbook of individual differences in social behavior (pp. 27–45). NY: Guilford.

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