What can the self-conscious emotion of guilt tell us about primary school teachers moral purpose and the relationships they have with their pupils?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Based on interviews and adopting and phenomenological approach this article explores primary school teachers experiences of guilt. Teachers described feeling guilty when they held themselves responsible for having let down or upset their pupils and on occasion their colleagues. Some teachers also recalled experiencing guilt when some of their pupils felt distressed without actually blaming themselves for their actions. The findings demonstrate the strong moral purpose that underpins teachers beliefs and practice and the close personal relationship that they have with their pupils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-507
Number of pages17
JournalTeachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012



  • emotions
  • guilt
  • moral purpose
  • teacher-pupil relationships
  • teachers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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