Faculty Publications

Idiodynamics: An Innovative Method To Build Emotional Intelligence Through Systematic Self-Assessment/Reflection/Critique

Document Type



Emotional Intelligence, Interpersonal Sensitivity, Language Teacher, Novice Teacher, Student Teacher

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Educational Linguistics



First Page


Last Page



This chapter unveils the idiodynamic method as an innovative language teacher education tool, which focuses on moment-to-moment self-reflection. The method requires watching a video recording of a practice teaching event, pre-service teacher ratings of efficacy at each moment using specialized software, and a review of both the ratings and video with a mentor. We argue that the idiodynamic approach provides pre-service teachers with exposure to the complex dynamics of the classroom, experience with the spontaneous decision-making that this complexity demands, and realistic appraisal of personal efficacy through detailed, meaningful performance feedback. To demonstrate its value as an innovation that develops and/or exploits different components of pre-service teachers’ emotional intelligence, we examine a case study of its use and analyze the self-reported narrative data for elements of emotional intelligence. We found that the method is an advance over prior use of video because it allows for a more explicit and systematic assessment of competence at every moment of the teaching performance that is far less subject to the biases of recall memory. The case study participant commented, “I noticed things about myself that I don’t think I would have had a better grasp on if someone had just told me verbally.” Using this approach allows both teachers and their mentors to understand, in a highly systematic and evidence-supported way, both the positive and negative patterns of thinking that the novice teacher is using to evaluate herself/himself. We argue that this method can accelerate the critical reflection process that lies at the heart of developing expertise as a teacher.


Department of Languages and Literatures

Original Publication Date


DOI of published version



UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa