Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Urban Education


Konstantinos Alexakos

Committee Members

Kenneth Tobin

Gillian Bayne

Subject Categories

Higher Education and Teaching | Science and Mathematics Education


Science Education, Teacher Education, Emotions, Heuristics, Gender


This dissertation is a compilation of studies, on emotions in teaching and learning. My experiences as a teacher and student of physics have informed my perspective. These experiences as well as my role as a science teacher educator have contributed to my transformations. My work is interpretative and impressionistic. I attempt to address what is happening and why it is happening through my own interpretation, participant reflections, heuristic responses and dialogue with participants. My research community has also informed this work, as well as the preservice and inservice teachers that have participated in each of the studies. I consider this work to be emergent due to the consistent thinking and rethinking of each exploration.

This dissertation is presented through four studies and consistent personal reflection. Each chapter highlights events and experiences in teaching and learning. My axiology (values), epistemology (theory of knowledge) and ontology (how I view the world) have informed my research and have shifted through the process. Chapter 2 is a forum response to an article discussion about culture and didactic transposition. In this chapter, I draw on my own experiences as a female physics student and female physics teacher in male-dominated spaces in. In the 3rd chapter, I examine emotions, such as fear and anxiety, and the role they play in the perception of learning physics. In addition, I consider axiology and epistemology as contributing factors in what is taught, how it is taught and who is taught in a physics classroom. In Chapter 4 focuses on the development and use of a heuristic as a mindfulness intervention, method, and methodology for exploring student-teacher interactions with preservice and inservice science teachers. In Chapter 5, I use impressionistic tales as a research method | methodology for exploring emotional conversations about race and religion in a physics class and illuminate the significance of axiology and awareness of axiology in teaching. each of these chapters I identify the significance of emotions as well as the sociocultural aspects associated with teaching and learning.

I hope that by sharing my stories, readers can make connections to their own experiences. Like a heuristic, readers are encouraged to consider these experiences reflexively, become aware of their own emotional experiences and provide an opportunity for personal transformation. I have come to understand and value the significance of exploring emotions in teaching and learning. My hope is that readers consider how emotions are significant in their own interactions.