The Big Five in Education: Unveiling the Personality Traits that Makes Educators Inspiring

Intan Afida, Raja Putri Melissa Raja Mustaffa, Khairul Izdihar Abd Basir, Che Rahaida Tahir


The purpose of this study is to assess the students’ preferences for what makes an educator inspiring to them. All 38 inspiring educators’ characteristics have been grouped according to the Big Five Personality Traits model. There are seven characteristics under openness; nine characteristics under conscientiousness; five characteristics under extraversion; 12 characteristics under agreeableness; and five characteristics under emotional stability. A survey method was used in this study. The data were collected using online questionnaires from 206 diploma students at one of the public universities in West Malaysia. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics such as frequency, percentage, mean scores, standard deviation, and inferential statistics, namely the Kruskal-Wallis Test. According to the study findings, three characteristics associated with agreeableness received the most positive responses from the students, followed by one associated with openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, and emotional stability. The study also found that there are no significant differences in the characteristics of inspiring educators chosen by the students based on the year of study. As a conclusion, all 38 inspiring educators’ characteristics can be categorised into three categories. The first category involves characteristics related to the personal qualities of educators. The second category encompasses characteristics regarding educators' pedagogical and disciplinary expertise. The third category comprises characteristics associated with the relationship between educators and students. This study aims to enhance educators' understanding, empowering them to invest in the necessary efforts to enhance their personal and professional characteristics, thereby fostering impactful and inspiring teaching and learning for their students.

Keywords: Big Five Personality Traits, Educators, Inspiring educators’ characteristics, Higher education

DOI: 10.7176/JEP/15-1-11

Publication date: January 31st 2024

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