Materials for Teaching, Research and Policy Making



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KEY WORDS: Collegiality; Rural Schools; Rural Urban Differences; Secondary Education; Secondary School Teachers; Stress Management; Stress Variables; Student Behavior; Teacher Attitudes; Teacher Burnout; Teaching Conditions; Time Factors (Learning); Urban Schools.

Anderson, V. L., Levinson, E. M., Barker, W., & Kiewra, K. R. (1999). The effects of meditation on teacher perceived occupational stress, state and trait anxiety, and burnout. School Psychology Quarterly, 14(1), 3-25.


Teacher stress has been the focus of educational concern and research for decades, and has resulted in the development of several teacher stress scales and various strategies to address the negative effects of stress and burnout. Few empirical studies have evaluated specific programs designed to reduce teacher stress. However, promising results have come from the practice of standardized meditation (SM). The current study employed a pretest-posttest control group design and used the Teacher's Stress Inventory (TSI), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) to assess the effect of a 5-week standardized meditation class on the perceived occupational stress of 91 full-time teachers from seven suburban school districts in three states. Results were consistent with previous studies and offered support for the hypothesis that SM significantly reduces teachers' perceived stress. Teachers perceived a reduction in stress using SM only 2-5 times per week. The use of standardized meditation by school psychologists to assist in reducing teacher stress is discussed.
KEY WORDS: Mental-Health-Services; Job-Related Stress; Transcendental Meditation; Psychological Burnout; Relaxation Techniques; Classroom Teachers; School Teachers; Management; Inventory; Validity.

Baldauf, R. B. (2005). Coordinating government and community support for community language teaching in Australia: Overview with special attention to New South Wales. International Journal of Bilingual Education & Bilingualism, 8(2-3), 132-144.


An overview of formal government language-in-education planning for community languages (CLs) that has been undertaken in Australia and New South Wales is provided, moving from the more informal programmes provided in the 1980s to school-oriented programmes and training at the turn of the century. These programmes depend on community support; for many of the teachers from the communities, methodological training is needed to complement their language and cultural skills. At the same time, Commonwealth (Federal) and State support for CL programmes has improved their quality and provides students with opportunities to study CLs at the senior secondary matriculation level. The paper concludes with specific recommendations for greater recognition of CL schools and for greater attention to CL teacher preparation.
KEY WORDS: Foreign Countries; State Aid; Community Support; Teacher Education; Language Planning; Language Teachers; Second Language Instruction; Public Policy.

Bauer, J., Unterbrink, T., Hack, A., Pfeifer, R., Buhl-Grießhaber, V., Müller, U., et al. (2007). Working conditions, adverse events and mental health problems in a sample of 949 German teachers. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 80(5), 442-449.


The study explore the workload of teachers, analyses the extent of threatening school-related events and evaluate mental strain by applying the general health questionnaire among 949 teachers in 10 grammar. Based on the questionnaire, full-time teachers work more than 51 hours weekly and more than 42% indicated verbal insults, damage of personal belongings (7%) and threat of violence (4.4%) during the past 12 months. Teachers in modern secondary schools indicated more of these problems, while no effects regarding age, gender, or full/part-time teaching were observed. Based on the general health questionnaire, nearly 30% of teachers suffer from significant mental health problems.
KEY WORDS: Burnout; Health Conditions; Occupational Burden; Teacher; Violence.

Black, S. (2003). Stressed out in the classroom. American School Board Journal, 190(10), 36-38.


Many teachers feel overwhelmed about meeting the needs of students getting ready for tests, and about relations with principals. Four exceptionally high-stress factors that teachers admit carrying into their classrooms are money management, health, relationships, and care giving. A sidebar lists tips for administrators to help alleviate teachers' work-related stress.
KEY WORDS: Educational Environment; Elementary Secondary Education; Principals; Stress Management; Stress Variables; Teacher Administrator Relationship; Teacher Burnout; Teacher Morale; Teaching Conditions.

Boles, J. S., Dean, D. H., Ricks, J. M., Short, J. C., & Wang, G. (2000). The dimensionality of the Maslach burnout inventory across small business owners and educators. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 56(1), 12-34.


This study tested the dimensionality of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) by comparing three factor structures (i.e., a one-factor structure, a three-factor structure, and a higher order factor structure) in two diverse samples. The comparison of the LISREL measurement models was extended by a series of measurement invariance tests. Additionally, constructs related to burnout had a pattern of correlations to the three MBI dimensions that was similar across the two samples. In aggregate, the analyses suggested that the three-factor structure of the MBI is the most plausible model. By using a sample of small business owners, the current research contributed to existing knowledge on the MBI by establishing the dimensionality and generalizability of the MBI beyond human service occupations.
KEY WORDS: Occupational Stress; Business Personnel; Industrial Personnel; Attitudes Toward Work; Small Business; Owners; Teachers; School Administrators.

Boswell, W. R., Olson-Buchanan, J. B., & LePine, M. A. (2004). Relations between stress and work outcomes: The role of felt challenge, job control, and psychological strain. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 64(1), 165-181.


Recent research on reported work stress indicates stress may not always be deleterious for an individual or organization. Research in this area, however, has not yet examined a variety of work outcomes, the mechanism by which stress leads to such outcomes, and the moderators of this effect. The present study hypothesized that two types of reported stress (challenge- and hindrance-related) have a divergent relationship with work outcomes (relating to desirable and undesirable outcomes, respectively) and a similar (positive) relationship with psychological strain. We also hypothesize felt challenge as a mechanism through which challenge stress relates to desirable outcomes and job control as a moderator of the effect. Results from a heterogeneous sample of university staff employees (N=461) supported many of the hypotheses. The two types of stress differentially related to work outcomes yet both positively related to psychological strain. In addition, felt challenge mediated the relationship between challenge-related stress and work outcomes, yet the effect of challenge-related stress did not depend on job control.
KEY WORDS: Anxiety; Administrators; Job Performance; Burnout; Stress Variables; Organizational Climate; Heterogeneous Grouping; School Personnel; Job Satisfaction; College Faculty.
Briner, R. B., Harris, C., & Daniels, K. (2004). How do work stress and coping work? Toward a fundamental theoretical reappraisal. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 32(2), 223-234.
The main aim of this paper is to make the case for why a fundamental reappraisal rather than incremental development of work stress and coping theory is required. In order to do this we present, in simplified form, some of the basic tenets of theory in this field. These tenets are questioned and their limitations identified in two ways. The first way is through contrasting the sort of stories that emerge in counselling and psychotherapy about the causes of people's distress with the simplified accounts found in stress and coping theory. The second way is through a critical examination of the specific ideas that stressors are 'out there' in the work environment and that individuals go through a simple process of primary and secondary appraisal when dealing with potentially harmful aspects of the work environment. Drawing on the notion of the employee as an active crafter and shaper of their job and data showing the complex ways in which people make sense of potentially negative work circumstances, we show how these ideas are of very limited value. In conclusion, we suggest that these limitations are so serious that fundamental reappraisal rather than development is required.
KEY WORDS: Coping; Stress Management; Stress Variables; Research; Theories; Work Environment; Psychological Patterns; Emotional Response.
Brock, B. L., & Grady, M. L. (2002). Avoiding burnout: A principal's guide to keeping the fire alive. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
The work of the school administrator is often described as fragmented and unrelenting. However, what is often left unsaid is that it is lonely. The issues of administrator stress and burnout form the focus of this book. It begins with a look at the nature of stress, and an assessment of individual stress triggers and response mechanisms. Subsequent chapters outline practical strategies for diminishing stress at home and capitalizing on work stress with effective time-management and interpersonal skills. The last chapter offers suggestions for career renewal and caring for one's personal well-being. In these chapters, school administrators are offered a "mirror" to look into to see how they are doing. This mirror comes in the form of voices of administrators who offer their stories and suggestions about how they handle stress and burnout. Through this approach, administrators can assess themselves in relation to how others manage the complexity and pace of school administration. Resources at the end of the book include: a list of destructive and constructive responses to stress; a list of realities in life that must be accepted and possibilities to embrace; a stress reduction outline for personal change; and a model action plan.
KEY WORDS: Administrator Guides; Burnout; Elementary Secondary Education; Principals; Self Management; Stress Management; Stress Variables; Time Management.

Broman, C. L. (2001). Work stress in the family life of African Americans. Journal of Black Studies, 31(6), 835-846.


This paper investigated the link between job-related stressors and family life among African Americans. Data from African Americans who participated in the America's Changing Lives survey indicated that job latitude positively affected marital harmony, and physical demands negatively affected marital harmony. Psychosocial demands, job bother, and chronic financial stress negatively affected parental well-being.
KEY WORDS: Blacks; Family Life; Job Satisfaction; Marital Satisfaction; Parent Attitudes; Stress Variables; Work Environment; Job Stress; Marital Quality.

Brouwers, A., Evers, W. J. G., & Tomic, W. (2001). Self-efficacy in eliciting social support and burnout among secondary-school teachers. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 31(7), 1474-1491.


A nonrecursive model with relationships between perceived lack of social support, perceived self-efficacy in eliciting support at the workplace, and the 3 successive burnout dimensions- emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment-was tested in a sample of 277 secondary-school teachers in The Netherlands. Results showed that teachers' perceived lack of support from colleagues and principals had a significant effect on their self-efficacy beliefs in eliciting support from them, while these self-efficacy beliefs were shown to predict their level of burnout. The hypothesized feedback loop was also confirmed: teachers' level of burnout predicted the extent to which they feel lack of support. An additional effect of the personal-accomplishment dimension of burnout on perceived self-efficacy was suggested. It was concluded that perceived self-efficacy in eliciting support at the workplace is a usable construct in the prediction of teacher burnout. Future directions in research are suggested.
KEY WORDS: Psychological Burnout; Occupational Stress; Work Stress; Models; Fit; Cognitions; Depression; Commitment; Goodness; Validity.

Brownell, M. T., Ross, D. D., Colon, E. P., & McCallum, C. L. (2005). Critical features of special education teacher preparation: "A comparison with general teacher education". Journal of Special Education, 38(4), 242-252.


Policy and program decisions involve choices among different ways of preparing teachers. These choices are shrouded in increasingly contentious debates as teacher shortages reach crisis proportions. Yet, research on special education teacher education is almost nonexistent. Findings from comparative research documenting the characteristics of effective teacher education programs can inform these choices, but these findings should be grounded in what we know from previous research in general teacher education. To assist educators, we have analyzed literature in general and special teacher education toward two ends. First, we present a framework, derived from work in general education, for analyzing teacher education programs. Second, we use this framework to analyze practice in teacher education in special education. Specifically, we conducted an exhaustive review of special education program descriptions and evaluations. We conclude by describing steps necessary to improve the special education teacher education research base.
KEY WORDS: Specialists; Program Descriptions; Teacher Education Programs; Teacher Education; Teacher Shortage; Special Education; Special Education Teachers; Regular and Special Education Relationship.

Burchielli, R., & Bartram, T. (2006). 'Like an iceberg floating alone': A case study of teacher stress at a Victorian primary school. Australian Journal of Education, 50(3), 312-327.


This paper presents the case study of a culturally diverse primary school located on a government housing estate. The study found a high level of stress amongst the teachers in this school and evidence of conflict with school bureaucracy. This study found that teachers attributed stress to the combined impact of different factors including a complex demographic structure, the demands of the bureaucracy and to available school resources. The study found that despite the lack of resources, teachers developed specific individual strategies as well as a social support network to reduce stress.
KEY WORDS: Teachers; Social Support; Stress; Workloads; Coping; Primary Schools; Occupational Stress; Work.

Butcher, J., Howard, P., Labone, E., Bailey, M., Smith, S. G., McFadden, M., et al. (2003). Teacher education, community service learning and student efficacy for community engagement. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 31(2), 109-124.


Student backgrounds and the increasing number of school students from low socio-economic areas requires teachers to have an understanding of students' worlds and to be committed to social justice both within school structures and curriculum as well as in the life of the wider community. Social engagement with marginalised people can be confronting for students as it is usually outside their previous life experience. Examines the role of community service learning within teacher education nationally and internationally. First, the article focuses on national and international perspectives regarding community engagement, teacher education and service learning. Next, the article describes three Australian case studies of community service learning as purposeful workplace learning. Finally, the authors findings relate to student teachers' efficacy for community engagement from one of these case study sites. We propose that the role of community service learning must be at the centre of debates about how teacher education should be reformed. Furthermore, the article argues that community engagement of staff and students is also an expression of the corporate citizenship of the university.
KEY WORDS: Community Services; Teacher Education; Curriculum; Teachers.

Carlyle, D. E. E. (2002). Emotion and stress-related illness among secondary teachers. Dissertation Abstracts International, C: Worldwide, 63(3), 415-C.


Over the last decade there have been sharp increases in recorded levels of occupational stress. Reports of the growing incidence of stress-related illness within the teaching profession continue, the numbers of teachers pursuing litigation to secure compensation for injury to health increasing. Based on qualitative empirical data gathered from in-depth longitudinal interviews guided by humanist counselling frameworks, this study focuses on the phenomenological experiences of 21 secondary school teachers (and their families) diagnosed as suffering stress-related illness. It shows how stress cascaded through school systems from government directives to the chalkface, and on into family systems, leading, in some cases, to family burnout. Analysis through the sociology and psychology of emotion emphasises the central position of emotions in the aetiology of stress-related illness. This research shows that emotions are social processes, playing a vital role as communicators both to the self and to others. Emotional climates within schools and the home, individual and organisational emotional competencies, emotional labouring, emotion management and emotion rules were key themes contributing to the experience of stress-related illness. This study finally deals with the struggle for survival and identity reconstruction processes within the self-renewal journey. Some teachers, profoundly damaged by the experience of stress, were unable to return to the teaching world. Some emerged with a renewed and strengthened sense of self. Implications are drawn regarding student achievement, individual and collective emotional literacy, and the retention, training and professional development of teachers.
KEY WORDS: Emotions; Affective Illness; Occupational Stress; Secondary Schools; Teachers; Sociology of Health; Social Psychiatry; Mental Health.

Chan, D. W. (2003). Hardiness and its role in the stress-burnout relationship among prospective Chinese teachers in Hong Kong. Teaching and Teacher Education, 19(4), 381-395.


This paper assessed hardiness, stress, and burnout among Chinese preservice teachers. Different responses to positively and negatively worded hardiness items suggested positive and negative hardiness stress resilience and stress vulnerability. Stress, positive hardiness, and negative hardiness had main, independent significant impact on emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. Only positive hardiness had significant main effect on personal accomplishment. Respondents indicated an erosion of their original excitement when first pursuing a teaching career.
KEY WORDS: Elementary Secondary Education; Foreign Countries; Higher Education; Preservice Teacher Education; Resilience (Personality); Stress Variables; Student Teacher Attitudes; Teacher Burnout; Hardiness; Hong Kong.

Chan, K. B., Lai, G., Ko, Y. C., & Boey, K. W. (2000). Work stress among six professional groups: The Singapore experience. Social Science & Medicine, 50(10), 1415-1432.


Recent developments in stress research have called for attention to how social structures influence the stress and coping processes. This paper examines the experience of work stress among professionals in Singapore and argues that workers' experiences in the workplace are influenced not only by individual personality and job nature, but also by structural forces shaping the profession, the social organization of work institutions and the development of the economy.

Data were collected from a survey of professionals in Singapore conducted in 1989–1990. The sample consisted of 2570 men and women from six different professions and para-professions, namely general practitioners, lawyers, engineers, teachers, nurses and life insurance personnel. Results showed that performance pressure and work-family conflicts were perceived to be the most stressful aspects of work. These two stressors also significantly contributed to the experience of overall work stress. Further, stress arising from work-family conflicts, performance pressure and poor job prospects was negatively associated with the level of work satisfaction. These findings were discussed in the contexts of increasing professionalization and de-professionalization and the growing emphases on productivity and efficiency in a quickly developing economy.


KEY WORDS: Occupational Stress; Professionals; Singapore; Engineers; General Practitioners; Nurses; Sales Personnel; Teachers.

Cheetham, G., & Chivers, G. (2001). How professionals learn in practice: An investigation of informal learning amongst people working in professions. Journal of European Industrial Training, 25(5), 247-292.


Reviews theories, concepts, and learning approaches relevant to the development of professionals and reports on the range of experiences and events that practitioners have found formative in helping them become fully competent. The review is based on empirical research conducted across 20 professions.
KEY WORDS: Adult Development; Adult Education; Cognitive Style; Informal Education; Mentors; Models; Professional Continuing Education; Professional Development; Professional Occupations; Theory Practice Relationship.

Clarke, M., Lewchuk, W., de Wolff, A., & King, A. (2007). 'This just isn't sustainable': Precarious employment, stress and workers' health. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 30(4-5), 311-326.


This study found that a combination of an individual's desire for more permanent employment, the expectation that permanent employment will be found and the support individuals receive from various sources are critical to understanding the health effects of precarious employment.
KEY WORDS: Precarious Employment; Health; Stress; Employment Strain; Age; Support; Gender.

Coniam, D. (2002). Technology as an awareness-raising tool for sensitizing teachers to features of stress and rhythm in English. Language Awareness, 11(1), 30-42.


This paper discusses language awareness activities for sensitizing trainee English-language teachers to suprasegmental phonological features in English, with particular reference to features associated with the concept of "stress timing." It discusses stress timing and how it relates to English, and examines the quasi-authentic material drawn from a television program as source material for the language awareness exercises on suprasegmental phonology.
KEY WORDS: Computer Software; Consciousness Raising; English (Second Language); Language Rhythm; Language Teachers; Metalinguistics; Preservice Teacher Education; Second Language Instruction; Second Language Learning; Stress (Phonology); Suprasegmentals.

Conti, R., Angelis, J., Cooper, C., Faragher, B., & Gill, C. (2006). The effects of lean production on worker job stress. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 26(9), 1013-1038.


This empirical study address issues related to lean production (LP) and the neglected relationship between LP and worker job stress. The study is based on the Karasek's job stress model that link work practices and worker stress. The model incorporates the effects of job demands (physical and psychological), job control and social support. The study employs management and worker questionnaires, management interviews and structured plant tours. The response variable is total worker job stress - the sum of the physical and mental stress levels. The independent variable for the first question is the degree of lean implementation at the sites. The results are based on 1,391 worker responses at 21 sites in the four UK industry sectors. About 11 tested practices are significantly related to stress and an unexpected non-linear response of stress to lean implementation is identified. Results indicate that LP is not inherently stressful, with stress levels significantly related to management decisions. The regression model shows the scale and significant lean practices of this influence, with the work practices explaining 30 percent of job stress variations.
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