Current research and teaching interests include emotions and emotional intelligence, and enhancing the emotional wellbeing of teachers and students.
Qualifications & Memberships
My current primary research interests include emotions, emotional intelligence (EI), emotion regulation and emotional wellbeing of teachers and students. My most recent research project is a mixed-methods study into the emotional impacts of the Christchurch February 2011 earthquake on Christchurch teachers, funded by the University of Canterbury Digital Archive (CEISMIC), from which findings are still being shared. Previous research includes an investigation into emotions in tertiary (postsecondary school) 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.
- 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.
- O'Toole VM. (2017) “I thought I was going to die”: Teachers’ reflections on their emotions and cognitive appraisals in response to the February 2011 Christchurch Earthquake. New Zealand Journal of Psychology 46(2): 71-86.
- O'Toole VM. and Friesen MD. (2016) Teachers as first responders in tragedy: The role of emotion in teacher adjustment eighteen months post-earthquake. Teaching and Teacher Education 59(October 2016): 57-67. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2016.05.012.