How does pupils´ emotional coping develop within learning situations during primary school years?


  • Eeva-Liisa Peltokorpi
  • Kaarina Määttä


Emotional coping is an emotional-based psychological process that contributes to achieving the goal of emotional regulation. As such, the development of emotional coping can be understood as an individual’s inner coping process which consists of various elements. This article describes the development of children’s emotional coping and the teaching methods that enhance it in the school class. A range of interactive learning activities were planned and carried out in the classroom and the measures of emotional coping were created. Nine pupils aged between seven and eight who had problems with their emotional coping were selected as the research participants. Their development and teaching were observed and the pupils’ self-evaluations were collected during the study year 2006-2007 in interactional classroom situations that involved mathematical problem-solving tasks. The aim of the research was to study 1) how primary school pupils’ emotional coping develops and 2) with what kind of teaching methods their emotional coping could be enhanced. Results showed that pupils’ individual emotional coping can be illustrated through various mathematical reasoning and problem-solving tasks in stages. Emotional coping skills are important for individuals’ success and wellbeing and the foundation for these skills can be laid already in the early years.