Current research and teaching interests include emotions and emotional intelligence, and enhancing the emotional wellbeing of teachers and students
Qualifications & Memberships
My primary research interests are emotions, emotional intelligence (EI), emotion regulation and social emotional wellbeing of teachers and students. Currently, I am a Co-researcher and the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Lead for a Teaching & Learning Research Initiative (TLRI) project entitled, “Co-constructing a culturally and linguistically sustaining, Te Tiriti -based Ako framework for socio-emotional wellbeing in education”. I am also involved in other research projects investigating teachers’ wellbeing and EI, and students’ emotions in higher education, in New Zealand and Ireland, where I spent 6 weeks on Sabbatical Leave in 2019. Previous research projects include investigating the emotional impacts of the Christchurch February 2011 earthquake on Christchurch teachers, funded by the University of Canterbury Digital Archive (CEISMIC), and an investigation into emotions in tertiary teaching, funded by AKO Aotearoa. In 2011, the Fulbright-Cognition Scholar in Educational Research Award enabled me to spend three months in the USA. I spent six weeks as Visiting Scholar at Wichita State University, associated with their educational leadership programme and six weeks at the Health Education and Behavior (HEB) Lab at Yale University, where key EI research programmes have been developed. These experiences continue to inform both my research and my teaching.
- Lindsay H., O'Toole V. and Culpan I. (2019) Emotions, Physical Education Leadership in Schools, and the Quest for Authenticity. New Zealand Physical Educator - Physical Education New Zealand- 52(2) 1: 4-8.
- O'Toole V., Martin R., Fickel L. and Britt E. (2019) Emotional wellbeing as perceived and understood through the lenses of SEL and PYD: A qualitative commentary and suggestions for future research in Aotearoa New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Psychology 48(2) 9: 91-102.
- O'Toole VM. (2019) Facilitating teachers’ reflections on their affect 18 months after the February 2011 Christchurch Earthquake. American Educational Research Association’s Social & Emotional Learning SIG 170 12(1) 3: 8-12.
- O'Toole VM. (2018) "Running on Fumes": Emotional exhaustion and burnout of teachers following a natural disaster. Social Psychology of Education 21(5): 1081-1112. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11218-018-9454-x.
- O'Toole VM. (2017) “Fear would well up and it was just a luxury that you just didn’t have time for”: teachers’ emotion regulation strategies at school during the February 2011 Christchurch Earthquake. Social Psychology of Education 20(3): 513-542. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11218-017-9383-0.