The effects of emotional intelligence on coping styles and resilience among facilitators of the University of the Free State
Sekonyela, Lerato Edward
MetadataShow full item record
The University of the Free State (UFS) is increasingly making use of the studentcentred approach to teaching and learning, and in-turn the number of employed facilitators is steadily increasing. This type of teaching and learning requires facilitation, which involves understanding the prescribed module content, and ability to establish and maintain interpersonal relationships with students as to allow for effective teaching and learning environment. This type of teaching, move away from traditional lecture-centred teaching and learning. Facilitation poses serious challenges, because facilitators are required to build rapport and interpersonal relationships with students, of which have a direct and indirect effect on facilitators. Literature further indicated that to be effective in teaching and learning, facilitators’ ability to manage emotions and apply effective coping styles while remaining resilient in challenging situation is crucial. The primary aim of this study was to explore the effects of emotional intelligence on coping styles and resilience among the UFS facilitators. The secondary aim was to determine whether differences exists in levels of resilience amongst UFS facilitators with regard to gender. The survey research design was applied and questionnaires were distributed to the UFS Access Programme facilitators. Information was collected from 88 respondents from a population of 220 facilitators. The UFS facilitators are responsible for the teaching and learning of students who do not meet the minimum requirements for admission to the UFS across the four faculties and seven campuses. The datagathering instruments used in this study were the Resilience Scale (RS) to measure resilience; the Emotional Intelligence Index (EQI) to measure emotional intelligence competencies; and the Coping Strategies Indicator (CSI) to measure respondents’ preferred coping styles. These three instruments had the reliability estimates between 0.764 and 0.963. The correlation coefficient and stepwise regression were used to analyse the primary alternative research hypothesis, namely the variance in resilience scores can be statistically explained by emotional intelligence and coping styles amongst the UFS facilitators. The Mann-Whitney U test analysed the secondary alternative research hypothesis, namely there is a statistically significant difference in scores achieved on resilience with regard to gender amongst the UFS facilitators. The results indicated that the majority of the respondents were females, accounting for 80.7% and majority of the respondents had obtained an honours degree. The correlation results indicated a statistically significant correlation between facilitators’ levels of emotional intelligence and resilience. Specifically, the results indicated a significant relationship between EQI: self-regulation and RS: equanimity, self-reliance and perseverance. Furthermore, EQI: social skills correlates with RS: self-reliance and perseverance. The results also indicated a statistically significant positive relationship between the problem-solving coping style and RS: self-reliance. The problem-solving coping style was also significantly correlated with emotional intelligence. Stepwise regression results showed that the variance in total scores of resilience can be attributed to emotional intelligence specifically self-regulation, but not coping styles. Meaning that self-regulation influences resilience amongst the UFS facilitators. The Mann-Whitney U test results showed that there is no statistically significant differences in resilience scores with regard to gender among the UFS facilitators. The results of this study indicated some relationship between emotional intelligence, coping styles and resilience. However, some dimensions of these variables did not seem to have any relationship. Therefore, future research can investigate how and why there is no relationship between some of the emotional intelligence competencies and resilience components, and some coping styles and resilience components in the South African educational context. Future research can also make use of combination of data-gathering methods to yield a high response rate and get a sample with equal gender representation. In practice, UFS can provide resilience education for Access Programme facilitators’ that develops emotional intelligence competencies and effective coping styles.