1 University of Rijeka, Faculty of Teacher Education (CROATIA)
2 University of Primorska, Faculty of Education (SLOVENIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 7374-7383
ISBN: 978-84-09-34549-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2021.1654
Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Hidden curriculum, considered as “process curriculum“, is an inseparable part of a learning environment and of a wider educational paradigm and is especially tangible in the chosen theoretical framework of social learning theory. Within this concept, we find it close to Bandura’s self-efficacy theory. This paper addresses selected determinants of the hidden curricula phenomenon, alongside empathy and personality of preschool and school teachers in two neighboring countries, i.e. Croatia and Slovenia (N=813), with the following aims: (i) to examine the level of empathy and personality traits of preschool and school teachers; (ii) to examine the relationship between socio-demographic variables and empathy and personality traits within the mentioned population and ;(iii) to examine the significance of correlation in the level of empathy and personality traits.
In the research, a questionnaire on the multidimensional approach to empathy, the Interpersonal Reactivity Index - IRI (Davis, 1980) was used, while to measure personality traits, the Big Five Inventory - BFI (Benet-Martinez and John, 1998) was administered. A Descriptive and non-experimental method of empirical research was conducted: the t-test was used for differences among respondents´ in empathy and personality with Cohen's d reliability coefficient to check the size of the effect of the differences. The Correlation Analysis was used to identify similarities among the respondents with respect to age and years of work experience (Pearson' correlation coefficient).
School teachers from Croatia expressed a statistically higher level of empathy in fantasy and personal distress than the school teachers from Slovenia. According to findings in personality, the respondents from Slovenia were assessed as more sociable, talkative and optimistic, while respondents from Croatia were assessed as more curious, creative, imaginative and open, while the size of the difference is the average effect. In the general population of these two profesions, differences are notable in three dimensions of personality: extroversion, agreeableness, and openness. The obtained results indicate that the population of school teachers in both countries is more worried and nervous than preschool teachers, and that preschool teachers are more conscientious in their work and more comfortable in cooperation. Regarding correlations between empathy and personality with socio-demographic variables, the results were found to be only partially statistically significant. Considering emphathy, a statistically significant correlation is observed between the subscale of empathic care and the age and years of work experience of preschool teachers in Slovenia (p <.01) However, on a lower level of significance a negative correlation was detected (p <.05) between the age and years of work experience of preschool teachers in Croatia and fantasy in Croatia.
These results bring attention to the curriculum in practice. Specific elements of the hidden curriculum are a consistent part of the institutional climate and culture in the broader sense, which is built of vital and crucial individuals, especially amongst (pre)school teachers. It implies a growing requirement of awareness of impact for non-prescribed, non-visible content such as the hidden curriculum for improving educational results.
Hidden curriculum, self-efficacy, social learning theory, empathy, personality traits, BFI, preschool, school, teacher.