Materials for Teaching, Research and Policy Making



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KEY WORDS: Employee Welfare; Lean Production; Personnel; Production Management; Worker Job Stress; Neglected Work Condition; Job Demands; Job Control; Social Support; Physical Stress; Mental Stress.

Darling-Hammond, L. (1998). Teachers and teaching: Testing policy hypotheses from a National Commission Report. Educational Researcher, 27(1), 5-15.


This article reviews research that supports the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future's analysis and recommendations on school reform. It outlines the research and programmatic work needed to test the policy hypothesis offered by the commission's report to advance the field of educational reform in teaching, teacher education, and schooling.
KEY WORDS: Educational Change; Educational Improvement; Educational Policy; Educational Research; Elementary Secondary Education; Hypothesis Testing; Professional Development; Teacher Improvement; Teaching (Occupation).

Darling-Hammond, L. (2006). Constructing 21st-century teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 57(3), 300-314.


Much of what teachers need to know to be successful is invisible to lay observers, leading to the view that teaching requires little formal study and to frequent disdain for teacher education programs. The weakness of traditional program models that are collections of largely unrelated courses reinforce this low regard. This article argues that we have learned a great deal about how to create stronger, more effective teacher education programs. Three critical components of such programs include tight coherence and integration among courses and between course work and clinical work in schools, extensive and intensely supervised clinical work integrated with course work using pedagogies that link theory and practice, and closer, proactive relationships with schools that serve diverse learners effectively and develop and model good teaching. The article also urges that schools of education should resist pressures to water down preparation, which ultimately undermine the preparation of entering teachers, the reputation of schools of education, and the strength of the profession.

KEY WORDS: Teacher Education; Teacher Education Programs; Teaching Methods; Teaching Models; Schools of Education; Student Teaching; Teacher Supervision.

Day, C. (2000). The life and work of teachers: International perspectives in changing times. London; New York: Falmer Press.


This book explores how learning opportunities are affected by three key issues: policy, leadership and teaching. It draws conclusions about teaching practice and the impact of change that can be applied on an internationally scale. The book also outlines critical and conceptual approaches to understanding and coping successfully with change. Contributors from around the world explore factors that significantly influence quality learning opportunities for students: namely policy, school leadership and teaching / teachers' lives. Drawing on a range of critical conceptual and empirical perspectives, the authors show how experiences can be similar. The book provides much-needed information of the effects of mandated change on school leaders and teachers, both nationally and internationally. It also illustrates how teachers have coped and/or flourished in the changing circumstances under which they work.
KEY WORDS: Teaching; Schools; Education; Educational Change; Educational Leadership; Teachers.

del Pozo, M. R., Martinez-Aznar, M., Rodrigo, M., & Varela, P. (2004). A comparative study of the professional and curricular conceptions of the secondary education science teacher in Spain. European Journal of Teacher Education, 27(2), 193-213.


This article presents a comparison between the professional and curricular conceptions of two samples of secondary education science teachers in Spain, who differed in their years of teaching experience and in whether or not they had participated in a long-duration scientific-pedagogical refresher course. Using the data from their responses to a questionnaire, aspects of their professionalism as teachers (motivation and work satisfaction) and aspects of the curriculum related to content, teaching methods and evaluation were analyzed. The results show a broader professionalism and a higher level of satisfaction in the case of the teachers with more experience and a higher level of professional training. The study found significant differences in whether the pupils' ideas were regarded as erroneous, and in whether laboratory practical work was used to test theory. It concludes by setting out a series of reflections with the aim of working towards improving teachers' "professional development."
KEY WORDS: Secondary Education; Science Teachers; Secondary School Teachers; Secondary School Science; Science Instruction; Foreign Countries; Teaching Experience; Teacher Education; Teaching Methods; Job Satisfaction; Teacher Motivation; Science Curriculum.

Delhi, K., & Fumia, D. (2002). Teachers' informal learning, identity and contemporary education "reform". NALL Working Paper No. 56. Toronto: Centre for the Study of Education and Work, OISE/UT. Available at: www.nall.ca.


This paper explores links between teachers' learning, the politics and practices of education reform, and teacher identity, examining how teachers learn to negotiate the spaces between promises of improvement, effectiveness, and accountability made in heterogeneous discourses of education reform and their experiences with deteriorating material conditions and social relations of schooling. The paper asserts that learning how to work with or against education reform is a complex process of identity making for teachers, where they encounter and utilize contradictory ideas about good teachers and teaching as well as about children, curriculum, pedagogy, and learning. Researchers designed a small study to examine how Ontario teachers were being positioned and how they understood themselves within the milieu of reform. Twelve teachers completed interviews, commenting on contemporary school reform, particularly issues of curriculum, assessment, and reporting (as well as several other topics). In different ways, all respondents expressed strong disagreement with the provincial government and distrust of their initiatives. However, their teaching and assessment methods showed that they could not avoid reform altogether, and reform shaped their work and identities, even when they strongly disagreed with its goals and methods. Several teachers suggested that democratic and open discussion in their schools was very rare.
KEY WORDS: Educational Change; Elementary Secondary Education; Governance; Government Role; Government School Relationship; Politics of Education; Identity Formation; Ontario; Professional Identity; Reform Efforts.

Dewe, P., & Trenberth, L. (2004). Work stress and coping: Drawing together research and practice. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 32(2), 143-156.


Despite the enthusiasm for coping research, reviewers are concerned that much of the research has failed to live up to expectations as to its practical relevance. Yet the debate about the application of coping research is not short on writers pointing the way forward. By examining a number of issues at the heart of the debate on coping research this paper focuses on what may be ways of bridging the gap between coping research and practice. What follows is a discussion around the belief that if coping research is to become more clinically relevant, then researchers need to make better use of transactional models of stress. More specifically this paper points to the explanatory potential in concepts like appraisal that provide the psychological links between the individual and the stressful encounter. Moreover if coping researchers are to focus on more process-focused models, then what is needed is a time of quiet reconstruction where researchers consider where current methodologies are taking us and what alternative methods can provide. The argument here is that coping research needs to adopt measurement methods that reflect the techniques of clinicians. The emphasis is for coping methods to become more ecologically sensitive, person- and meaning-centred, daily processing and narrative in application.
KEY WORDS: Coping; Research Needs; Stress Management; Stress Variables; Work Environment; Research Methodology; Psychological Patterns; Emotional Response.

DiPardo, A., & Potter, C. (2003). Beyond cognition: A Vygotskian perspective on emotionality and teachers' professional lives. In V. Ageyev, B. Gindis, A. Kozulin & S. Miller (Eds.), Vygotsky’s Educational Theory in Cultural Context. New York: Cambridge University Press.


This chapter draw on and expanded Vygotskian theory beyond cognitive aspects and provides a theoretical analysis of "the role of emotions in informal thought and action," in the working lives of teachers. Based on two case studies authors demonstrating that stress and burnout are socially constituted.
KEY WORDS: Neo-Vygotskian Perspective; Teacher Development; Professional Lives; Role of Emotions; Intellectual Needs.

Dussault, M., Deaudelin, C., Royer, N., & Loiselle, J. (1999). Professional isolation and occupational stress in teachers. Psychological Reports, 84(3), 943-946.


The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between the professional isolation of teachers and their occupational stress. A systematic random sample of 1,110 teachers in Quebec were administered French Canadian versions of the UCLA Loneliness Scale and Teacher Stress Inventory. The resulting analysis gave, as expected, a positive and significant correlation between isolation and occupational stress. This highlights the importance of looking for ways to reduce professional isolation of teachers.
KEY WORDS: UCLA Loneliness Scale; Validity; Verson.

Easthope, C., & Easthope, G. (2000). Intensification, extension and complexity of teachers' workload. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 21(1), 43-58.


In this paper, four teachers in Tasmania, Australia, gave accounts of their experience of increased workload over the years 1984-1994. They reported working longer hours, teaching more students, & having more professional, pastoral, & administrative duties. The reasons for this increased workload include (1) less money being spent on education; (2) changes in student assessment from a norm to a criterion basis; (3) changes in the administrative structure of the state colleges in which most of them taught; & (4) changes in the student population. Their workload was both increased & extended, becoming more complex. Significantly, complexity was also produced by the attempt of teachers to maintain their professional commitment while adapting to the economic rationalist policies of administrators. However, loss of teachers through redundancy, stress, & a move to part-time work has meant that those teachers remaining have had to rationalize their work & reduce their professional commitment.
KEY WORDS: Teachers; Working Hours; Workplaces; Work Organization; Organizational Commitment; Rationalization; Occupational Stress; Australia.

Farwell, R. J. (1999). A study of k-12 teachers in small school districts: Their levels of stress, the source of stress, and the effect of initiating coping strategies. Dissertation Abstracts International, A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 60(4), 1074-A.


This study explored the relationship between K-12 regular education teachers in school districts with fewer than 2,500 students and their levels of stress as it related to the sources of stress, demographic variables, and initiation of coping strategies. Method. The subjects of this study were 329 K-12 teachers. They completed the Maslach Burnout Inventory, Education form, a demographic/coping mechanism form, and Stressor Source Check List. Results included: (1) Classroom, building, and community issues affected teachers' attitudes toward their profession: Stress levels, as measured by the MBI, were reflected in their identification of sources of stress in the work environment. (2) A teacher's gender was related to the risk of burnout: Female teachers were less likely to experience burnout than were male teachers. (3) A teacher's marital status was related to the risk of burnout: Both divorced and widowed teachers were less likely to approach levels of burnout than married or single teachers. (4) A teacher's teaching assignment was related to the risk of burnout: Elementary teachers were less likely to experience burnout than were high-school teachers, and junior-high/middle-school teachers were more likely to experience burnout than either of the other two groups. (5) A teacher's years of experience were related to the risk of burnout: teachers with 6-15 and 16-25 years of teaching experience were less likely to experience burnout than were teachers with 0-5 and 26-plus years of teaching experience. Thus, it was concluded that: a small school district effect is suggested by the following deviation from literature citations: (1) The subjects in this study placed less significance on stressor issues related to building concerns. (2) Gender- and stress-related findings suggest an effect related to the sense of belonging associated with working in a small community. (3) A stress pattern related to years of teaching experience was found.
KEY WORDS: Coping; School Districts; Schools; Occupational Stress; Teachers; Elementary Schools; Junior High Schools; High Schools.

Francis, B., & Humphreys, J. (2000). Professional education as a structural barrier to lifelong learning in the NHS. Journal of Education Policy, 15(3), 281-292.


Explores whether lifelong-learning ideals have been reflected in training provisions for UK health-care workers. Although traditional professional boundaries have been eroded in the workplace, there is little recognition of overlap in initial education and ongoing training of various groups. Continuous learning strategies are recommended.
KEY WORDS: Educational Policy; Foreign Countries; Health Occupations; Lifelong Learning; Postsecondary Education; Professional Development; Professional Education; Training; England; Learning Communities.

Friedman, A., & Phillips, M. (2004). Continuing professional development: Developing a vision. Journal of Education and Work, 17(3), 361 - 376.


Although Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is widely promoted through the policies and programmes of UK professional associations, it is an ambiguous concept. There is confusion regarding its definition and purpose in both academic and practitioner literature, which extends to professionals themselves. Thirty (18 employees and 12 of their employers) professionals were interviewed concerning their thoughts on the definition and value of CPD, and a further 40 professionals discussed the concepts and value of CPD in focus groups. Professionals have a limited view of CPD--seeing it as training, a means of keeping up-to-date, or a way to build a career. However, professional associations claim that CPD is: part of lifelong learning; a means of gaining career security; a means of personal development; a means of assuring the public that individual professionals are up-to-date; a method whereby professional associations can verify competence; and a way of providing employers with a competent and adaptable workforce. These claims are often made concurrently. We conclude by putting forward some suggestions towards clarifying the definitions and purposes of CPD and linking it more closely with the ideals of professionalism.
KEY WORDS: UK; Professional Development.

Garrick, J., & Clegg, S. (2001). Stressed-out knowledge workers in performative times: A postmodern take on project-based learning. Management Learning, 32(1), 119-134.


The article takes as its topic recent developments in project-based learning. These are a major response to the changing articulation of the Knowledge-based economy. Corresponding changes to the role of universities, whose mastery of knowledge is now being questioned, are a consequence-one often not anticipated as such. One response to the upsurge in interest in project-based learning for 'knowledge work' has been to move the university further into the workplace by legitimizing work-based and more flexible approaches to learning. The article identifies how, from a critically postmodern perspective, some problems occur with this shift, including the performative stresses on 'knowledge workers' who are now expected to reflect on their learning through work or project-based 'curricula'. Critical theories are useful in so far as they go, in bringing workplaces as learning environments into sharper focus. However, it is our argument that they do not go far enough, as (ironically) there are too many uncritical assumptions undergirding critical theory. The focus then switches to a postmodern analysis of project-based learning. From this perspective, project-based learning may be seen as too wedded to instrumental desires for performativity. We argue that postmodern ideas about project-based learning can offer practical organizational options, although we do not assert they are the only good options.
KEY WORDS: Experiential Learning; Organizational Behavior; Postmodernism; Stress; Work Teams; Organizations; Personnel; Theoretical Interpretation.

Griffith, J., Steptoe, A., & Cropley, M. (1999). An investigation of coping strategies associated with job stress in teachers. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 69, 517-531.


School teaching is regarded as a stressful occupation, but the perception of the job as stressful may be influenced by coping responses and social support. Therefore, this paper aims to assess the associations between teacher stress, psychological coping responses and social support, taking into account the plaintive set engendered by negative affectivity. The method included a questionnaire survey of 780 primary and secondary school teachers (53.5% response rate). In stepwise multiple regression, social support at work and the coping responses behavioural disengagement and suppression of competing activities predicted job stress independently of age, gender, class size, occupational grade and negative affectivity. High job stress was associated with low social support at work and greater use of coping by disengagement and suppression of competing activities. It is suggested that behavioural disengagement and suppression of competing activities are maladaptive responses in a teaching environment and may actually contribute to job stress. Coping and social support not only moderate the impact of stressors on well-being but influence the appraisal of environmental demands as stressful.
KEY WORDS: Secondary-School Teachers; Social Support; Negative Affectivity; Occupational Stress; Mental-Health; Life Events; Work Place; Burnout; Symptoms; Strain.

Gulwadi, G. B. (2006). Seeking restorative experiences: Elementary school teachers' choices for places that enable coping with stress. Environment and Behavior, 38(4), 503-520.


Teacher stress and coping research and restorative environments research were converged in this study to explore how elementary school teachers in Chicago seek out everyday places in their milieu to implement restorative coping strategies. Seventy-one survey responses revealed that teachers' spontaneous place choices are related to sources of stress and that the restorative potential of a place was related to its ability to support teachers' inward or outward coping strategies. Teachers implemented effective strategies in places such as home, nature, city places, third places, and church. The ways these places were experienced differed according to teachers' perceptions of frequency and type of stress and how the place enabled the inward or outward strategy as needed. Findings suggest directions for exploring restorative design interventions in teachers' environments, especially within school environments.
KEY WORDS: Restorative; School Teachers; Stress; Coping Strategies.

Hammett, N., & Burton, N. (2005). Motivation, stress and learning support assistants: An examination of staff perceptions at a rural secondary school. School Leadership and Management, 25(3), 299-310.


The context of this study is an "improving" 11-18 secondary school in a small English market town, where the role of Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) is being developed as prime supporters of the renewed emphasis on improving teaching and learning processes. National initiatives, including the teachers workload agreement and national remodelling of schools, have also led to the reconsideration and redefinition of their role. The aim is to advise the school leadership of LSAs perceptions of motivation and stress with regard to current and possible future elements of their role. An analysis of the outcomes of this research will be made using a conceptual framework constructed from theories of motivation, stress and teamwork derived from an educational context. The main findings suggest that the senior management team needs to raise the self-esteem of LSAs through career development opportunities, clarity and consistency of role definition, raising awareness of the role within and beyond the school and professionalisation of the salary structure which includes time allowance for training and administrative duties.
KEY WORDS: Attitude Measures; Motivation; Secondary Education; Rural Schools; Paraprofessional School Personnel; Foreign Countries; Stress Variables; Working Conditions; Staff Development; England.

Hansen, J.-I., & Sullivan, B. A. (2003). Assessment of workplace stress: Occupational stress, its consequences, and common causes of teacher stress. North Carolina.


This section introduces teachers and other education professionals to the assessment of occupational stress. It begins with a brief discussion of what occupational stress is, an overview of the consequences of prolonged stress, and a review of the common causes of teacher stress. Next, it presents methods for reducing occupational stress through organizational and individual initiatives. Finally, it reviews psychological tests that can be used to assess types and sources of stress within schools.
KEY WORDS: Educational Environment; Evaluation Methods; Job Satisfaction; Measures (Individuals); Psychological Testing; Stress Variables; Work Environment; Teacher Stress.

Hansez, I., Bertrand, F., Keyser, V., & Pérée, F. (2005). Career end for teachers: Towards a better understanding of stress and early retirement. Travail humain, 68(3), 193-223.


An increasing number of teachers decide to resign before legal retirement age, leading to significant shortages within the profession. A survey was conducted among teachers working in the city of Liège, Belgium. This aimed to determine what led them to withdraw from their jobs and the degree to which stress contributed to their decisions. Various adjustments were made in favour of elderly workers, such as working time and training. The question of whether these are sufficient to keep them motivated in their job was raised.

A questionnaire was developed to try and identify the reasons why teachers resign, their motivations for staying in the job and their expectations in terms of career-end adjustments. The key concepts included in this tool were personal factors, job-related factors (i.e. working conditions, organizational and structural changes and job recognition) and employment-related factors. This questionnaire was combined with a subjective stress measure (MSP-A, Lemyre & Tessier, 1988).

Various statistical analyses were carried out. From the results, it was possible to conclude that stress is part of the reason why teachers resign and that personal factors are the most cited reason for taking early retirement. However, the uneasiness expressed obviously has its origin in a perceived depreciation of the job and lack of recognition. Whilst better working conditions are often presented as the solution, these do not seem to solve the problem completely. They offer insufficient motivation and do not diminish or eliminate stress. Since recognition appears to be the only motivating factor among teachers, the restoration of the image of the teaching profession seems to be essential.

This survey has highlighted the importance of making a thorough diagnosis before deciding on specific actions. Career-end adjustments are very attractive and fairly easy to implement. However, whilst they may suit some categories of workers, they do not seem to respond to the needs of elderly teachers. Their problems should be tackled in another way.

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