Materials for Teaching, Research and Policy Making



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KEY WORDS: Foreign Countries; Comparative Analysis Cultural Context; Teaching Experience; Case Studies; Values; Teacher Effectiveness; Policy Formation; Educational Policy; Educational Quality.

McWilliams, S., Cannon, P., Farrar, M., Tubbert, B., Connolly, C., & McSorley, F. (2006). Comparison and evaluation of aspects of teacher education in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. European Journal of Teacher Education, 29(1), 67-79.


This paper critically considers teacher education in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It was stimulated by an exchange programme between student teachers from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland for a period of school-based work in each other's jurisdictions. It examines recent curricular developments, partnership with schools, college requirements and cultural diversity. It also contrasts the effects these have had on student teacher preparation, classroom delivery and tutor involvement in student teacher development. The highly prescribed and assessed Northern Ireland curriculum will be contrasted with that of the Republic of Ireland, which appears to offer more in terms of freedom, flexibility and independence in planning. Different supervisory practices and responsibilities for the assessment of student teachers' practical teaching will be compared in both jurisdictions. The tutors in the Republic of Ireland exercise more control over student teachers' preparation and professional development for teaching, while in Northern Ireland the partnership arrangements have given more influence to schools. The paper illuminates the shift of locus of control and influence of Colleges of Education in Northern Ireland in the education of student teachers, while in the Republic of Ireland Colleges of Education have retained their influence. The curricular expertise of supervisors in the Republic of Ireland is recognized and accepted by the schools, while in Northern Ireland the rise in significance of curriculum expertise in the Curriculum Advisory and Support Service (CASS) of the Education and Library Boards has undermined the influence and expertise of college tutors.
KEY WORDS: Cultural Pluralism; Foreign Countries; Student Teaching; Preservice Teacher Education; Partnerships in Education; Student Diversity; Higher Education; Elementary School Mathematics; English; Student Teacher Supervision; International Educational Exchange; Comparative Analysis.

Mearns, J., & Cain, J. E. (2003). Relationships between teachers' occupational stress and their burnout and distress: Roles of coping and negative mood regulation expectancies. Anxiety, Stress & Coping: An International Journal, 16(1), 71-82.


Teaching school is a highly stressful occupation. Consequences of this stress are burnout, physical and emotional distress, and choosing to leave the profession. Research on teacher stress and burnout has largely focused on environmental and contextual factors while ignoring personality characteristics of teachers that may have an impact on relationships between job stress and its consequences. The current study has a cross-sectional self-report design, focusing on teachers' negative mood regulation (NMR) expectancies as predictors of their coping, burnout and distress, in response to occupational stress. NMR expectancies are people's beliefs that they can control the negative moods they experience. Participants were 86 primary and secondary school teachers, who filled out questionnaire measures of teacher stress, NMR expectancies, coping, burnout, and distress. Simultaneous regression analyses showed that higher stress on the job did indeed predict greater burnout and distress. Additionally, stronger NMR expectancies predicted more active coping. NMR expectancies also predicted less burnout and distress, independent of stress level and coping. Believing one could control one's negative moods was associated with more adaptive outcomes for teachers. Results argue for the value of examining individual difference variables in research on occupational stress, in particular negative mood regulation expectancies.
KEY WORDS: Occupational Stress; Teaching; Negative Mood Regulation; Teachers; Burnout; Distress; Coping; Negative Mood Regulation.

Menter, I., Mahony, P., & Hextall, I. (2004). Ne'er the twain shall meet? Modernizing the teaching profession in Scotland and England. Journal of Education Policy, 19(2), 195-214.


This paper considers two examples of recent policies affecting teachers' work, Performance Threshold Assessment in England and Chartered Teacher status in Scotland. Through tracing their origins and motivations, a comparative analysis is offered, which seeks to explore the extent of the influence of national contexts on developments in the restructuring process. Both policies purport to meet the professional needs of teachers who are a few years into their careers, yet the Scottish example is strongly oriented towards professional development, while the English example is oriented towards performativity and teacher assessment.
KEY WORDS: Foreign Countries; Teaching (Occupation); Faculty Development; Teacher Education; Teacher Evaluation; Educational Policy; Teacher Improvement.

Miettinen, R. (1999). Transcending traditional school learning: Teachers' work and networks of learning. In Y. Engestroem & R. Miettinen (Eds.), Perspectives on activity theory. Learning in doing: Social, cognitive, and computational perspectives (pp. 325-344). New York: Cambridge University Press.


Exceeding the limitations of traditional school learning, requires an analysis of the nature and conditions of school learning as well as the new kinds of teaching and learning occurring within the school. This chapter explores the problem of learning at school both theoretically and empirically. Analyzing the object and the subject of learning at school, facilitates ongoing theoretical discussions about learning. Grounded in the results of the author's study of business teachers' work at the Finnish Businessmen's Commercial College, the discussion draws on other examples of new kinds of teaching in Finland, Sweden, and England.
KEY WORDS: School Learning; Social Networks; Theories of Education.

Morrill, R. (2003). Denmark: Lessons for American principals and teachers? Phi Delta Kappan, 84(6), 460-463.


Describes positive aspects of Denmark's "class teacher" system wherein the same group of students, evenly divided by sex, remain together with the same teacher from grades 1 through 9. Includes description of testing, school and classroom discipline, and group work. Compares Danish schools with American schools.
KEY WORDS: Child Development; Classroom Techniques; Comparative Analysis; Discipline; Educational Testing; Elementary Education; Foreign Countries; Grouping (Instructional Purposes); Principals.

Morris, J. E., & Long, B. C. (2002). Female clerical workers' occupational stress: The role of person and social resources, negative affectivity, and stress appraisals. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 49(4), 395-410.


In this paper, relations among person and social resources, work-stress appraisals, and depression were examined with data from 2 longitudinal studies of female clerical workers. Results were consistent with predictions that primary appraisals contribute to change in depression beyond the effects of person and social resources and negative affectivity. There was modest evidence that control appraisals moderate the effects of optimism and work support.
KEY WORDS: Clerical Workers; Counseling; Depression (Psychology); Females; Job Satisfaction; Personnel Evaluation; Self Esteem; Social Support Groups; Stress Variables.

Nagel, L., & Brown, S. (2003). The ABCs of managing teacher stress. Clearing House, 76(5), 255-258.


This paper describes stress management for teachers and presents strategies that teachers can use to lessen the impact of stress. It outlines the ABCs of stress: Acknowledge, Behavior Modification, and Communication, and notes that stress can motivate teachers to explore new instructional strategies, adopt innovative approaches to increasing student motivation, and reflect on their teaching.
KEY WORDS: Educational Strategies; Higher Education; Interpersonal Communication; Stress Management; Student Motivation; Teacher Attitudes; Teacher Student Relationship.

Nelson, J. R., Maculan, A., Roberts, M. L., & Ohlund, B. J. (2001). Sources of occupational stress for teachers of students with emotional and behavioral disorders. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 9(2), 123-130.


Teachers of students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) are at particular risk for experiencing stress on the job. Occupational stress ratings from 415 teachers of students with EBD was modeled by regression, using teacher demographic characteristics. working conditions. and ability to work with children with EBD as factors in the analysis. All working condition variables (principal-teacher relationship, capacity to contribute to decisions, and working relationships), as well as years of professional experience and ability to work with externalizing children, had a significant effect on occupational stress. Additionally, within-inventory analyses pointed to ability to contribute to decisions as more influential than positive relationships with principals or colleagues. Results and implications are discussed.
KEY WORDS: Special Educators; Job-Satisfaction; Stay; Intent; Commitment.

Peterson, M., & Wilson, J. F. (2002). The culture-work-health model and work stress. American Journal of Health Behavior, 26(1), 16-24.


This paper examines the role of organizational culture in the etiology of workplace stress through the framework of the Culture-Work- Health model. A review of relevant business and health literature indicates that culture is an important component of work stress and may be a key to creating effective organizational stress interventions.
KEY WORDS: Employer Employee Relationship; Interpersonal Relationship; Organizational Climate; Stress Variables; Work Environment; Employee Health; Job Stress; Organizational Culture.

Phillips, S., Sen, D., & McNamee, R. (2007). Prevalence and causes of self-reported work-related stress in head teachers. Occupational Medicine, 57(5), 367-376.


Work-related stress is the leading cause of occupational ill health in the education sector in the UK. Headship is believed to be a stressful role although there is little current research on this. Changes in the education sector since the late 1980s have meant that the findings of many existing studies are outdated. This study investigates the prevalence and causes of self-reported work-related stress in head teachers UK. The cross-sectional study uses a postal questionnaire in a population of 290 head teachers and principals. Self-reported stress defined as responses that work was 'very or extremely stressful' reported was 43% participants. Work overload and work-life imbalance were the essential stressors. Females were significantly more stressed than males for a number of stressors including overload and control. The prevalence of self-reported stress in head teachers in West Sussex is significantly increased compared to recent studies of workers in the UK. The recurring theme in existing studies of workload as a main stressor is confirmed. Gender and type of school affects outcome and female head teachers have more reported stressors than their male colleagues.
KEY WORDS: Cross-Sectional Studies; Humans; Gender; Middle Aged; Prevalence; Questionnaires; Stress, Psychological; Epidemiology/etiology; Teaching; Workload.

Pisanti, R., Gagliardi, M. P., Razzino, S., & Bertini, M. (2003). Occupational stress and wellness among Italian secondary school teachers. Psychology & Health, 18(4), 523-536.


As a part of a larger cross-cultural investigation (Euroteach) which involves 11 European countries and 2 182 secondary school teachers, two were the aims of the present study: (1) to examine the relationship between job conditions and wellness/health outcomes on a group of 169 Italian secondary school teachers, by using the Job Demand-Control-Support (JDCS) Model (Karasek and Theorell, 1990 ); (2) to analyse the differences with other European countries in the light of specific cultural differences. Controlling for age and gender, results of hierarchical regression indicated that job control and social support combine in different additive patterns with job demands to explain the well-being outcomes (job satisfaction, emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation, somatic complaints). The predictor's linearity check indicated that the job demands variable is curvilinearly associated both with emotional exhaustion ( p <0.005) and with somatic symptoms ( p <0.01). As compared to the average of the other European countries, on the positive side, the Italian teachers manifest both a higher degree of personal accomplishment and a lesser degree of depersonalisation; on the other hand, they claim a lesser degree of social support and a higher degree of somatic complaints.
KEY WORDS: Job Demand-Control-Support (JDCS) Model; Burnout; Non-linear Associations; Teachers; Additive or Interactive Hypothesis; Italy; Europe.

Pithers, R. T., & Soden, R. (1999). Person-environment fit and teacher stress. Educational Research, 41(1), 51-61.


This study examines the relationship between person-environment fit and occupational stress and strain for a group of 300 Australian and Scottish vocational teachers. A self-report questionnaire was used to obtain a measure of predominant work interest type for each individual. Teachers were allocated to the Congruent group on the basis of reporting a predominantIy Social interest type; Social types are seen to be most congruent with teaching. Teachers were allocated to the Incongruent group on the basis of reporting a predominantly Practical interest type. The Occupational Stress Inventory (OSI) was used to measure various aspects of occupational stress, strain and coping resources. Significant between group effects (congruent vs incongruent) were found for of the four strain subscales of the OSI. The implications of person- environment fit and strain for teachers is discussed.
KEY WORDS: Teacher Stress; Strain; Person-Environment Fit; Secondary-School Teachers; Occupational Stress; Congruence; Burnout; Model.

Rasku, A., & Kinnunen, U. (2003). Job conditions and wellness among Finnish upper secondary school teachers. Psychology & Health, 18(4), 441-456.


The aim of the present study was to compare the work situation of Finnish upper secondary school teachers to that of average European teachers and to examine to what extent various job conditions and coping strategies explain their well-being. The Finnish data (n = 232) were gathered in the spring term of 1998 by postal questionnaires (response rate 62%). The European reference sample consisted of 1950 upper secondary school teachers from ten European countries. The Finnish upper secondary school teachers assessed, in particular, their job conditions (e.g., lower job demands and higher job control), but also their well-being (higher level of job satisfaction and lower level of depersonalisation and somatic complaints) as better than their European colleagues. Job demands and control had only main effects on well-being: high demands explained low job satisfaction, high emotional exhaustion and high depersonalisation, and high control explained high job satisfaction and high personal accomplishment. The additional job conditions and coping strategies increased the explained variance of somatic complaints, emotional exhaustion, and personal accomplishment.
KEY WORDS: Work Conditions; Teachers; Wellness; Burnout; Job Demand; Control; Social Support; Stress; Europe.

Ryan, J. (2003). Continuous professional development along the continuum of lifelong learning. Nurse Education Today, 23(7), 498-508.


Of 300 surveyed, responses from 94 nurses, 38 occupational therapists, and 50 physical therapists indicated that professional knowledge was a prime motivation for continuing professional development, followed by updating qualifications, increasing the status of the profession, and demonstrating professional competence. No differences were observed among the professions.
KEY WORDS: Educational Attitudes; Lifelong Learning; Nurses; Occupational Therapists; Physical Therapists; Professional Continuing Education; Self Motivation.

Saaranen, T., Tossavainen, K., Turunen, H., & Naumanen, P. (2006). Development of occupational wellbeing in the Finnish European Network of Health Promoting Schools. Health Education, 106(2), 133-154.


This study presents the initial results of a school development project where the aim was to improve the occupational well-being. The Well-being at Your Work index form for school staff examines occupational well-being and satisfaction. The study also address working conditions, working community and professional competence. The most problematic factors of occupational well being were the urgency of work at school and problems with working space, postures and equipment. In addition, the supporting resources, including stress control, exercise, relaxation and mentoring were inadequate. The study found that the work index can serves as a useful tool for schools and occupational health care in evaluating and developing occupational well-being.
KEY WORDS: Finland; Nurses; Occupational Health and Safety; Schools.

Santagata, R., & Barbieri, A. (2005). Mathematics teaching in Italy: A cross-cultural video analysis. Mathematical Thinking & Learning: An International Journal, 7(4), 291-312.


This study investigates the cultural nature of teaching. It compares a sample of 39 videotaped Italian mathematics lessons to German, Japanese, and U.S. lessons videotaped in TIMSS. This study expands on earlier work that was based on a smaller sample; analysis is also extended to the nature of the mathematical content presented. The results confirm the existence of an Italian cultural pattern for mathematics teaching, whose features we outline here. Italian teachers prefer whole-class instruction to individual seatwork; they engage in teacher talk/demonstration to transmit information; and they often call on students to solve problems at the board before the rest of the class. Italian lessons are characterized by the inclusion of a large number of mathematical principles and properties. These are explained 50% of the time, and simply stated the rest of the time. This study adds yet another perspective from which mathematics teaching can be studied, and, by acknowledging the difficulty to change cultural practices, it offers practical implications for teacher learning.
KEY WORDS: Foreign Countries; Mathematics Instruction; Teaching Methods; Mathematics Teachers; Videotape Recordings; Comparative Analysis; Cultural Differences; Cross Cultural Studies.

Schaarschmidt, U., Kieschke, U., & Fischer, A. W. (1999). Patterns of teacher's occupational stress. Psychologie in Erziehung Und Unterricht, 46(4), 244-268.


In several studies we focused on the rule played by teacher's personal resources in coping with professional demands. This approach aims at exploring indicators of mental health. They are assessed by the psychometric instrument AVEM, which allows variable-oriented evaluations, as well as the classification of persons into four patterns (types) of coping (G, S, A, B) determined by cluster-analysis. The relevance of this typology in terms of health-related behavior and experience was demonstrated by various studies. Distinguishing between these patterns (types) makes it possible to point out problematic tendencies of professional engagement, moreover our approach is especially suitable to lay the foundation for preventive measures. Up until now we have investigated a sample of about 4000 teachers and teacher students. Longitudinal data are also available.
KEY WORDS: Teacher Research; Personal Resources; Coping Styles.

Schwarzer, R., Schmitz, G. S., & Tang, C. (2000). Teacher burnout in Hong Kong and Germany: A cross-cultural validation of the Maslach burnout inventory. Anxiety Stress and Coping, 13(3), 309-326.


Teacher burnout is a world-wide phenomenon that draws the attention of educational psychologists and stimulates efforts in construct elaboration and measurement. Emotional exhaustion, depersonalization (cynicism), and lack of personal accomplishments are three dimensions that constitute the burnout syndrome. Levels of this burnout syndrome were compared among 542 German and Chinese teachers. It turned out that there were only minor differences between the Germans and the Chinese, but major differences between those two groups and the U.S. American normative data. Moreover, stress resource factors were measured, namely perceived self-efficacy and proactive attitude. Their negative intercorrelations with burnout supported the validity of the burnout measure, although the associations were much closer in the German subsample. An attempt to replicate the American three-factorial structure of the burnout construct failed in both subsamples, which is in line with previous evidence and calls for a revision of the original measure.
KEY WORDS: Burnout; Self-Efficacy; Proactive; Chinese; Self-Beliefs; Stress; Health.

Smith, J. (2001). Critical politics of teachers' work: An Australian perspective. New York: Peter Lang.


This book examines the damage that has been systematically inflicted upon teachers' work globally over the past two or more decades. The author chronicles and traces the major policy maneuvers in what can only be described as "difficult times." The consequences are not hard to see in the language of the new technologies of power: competencies, vocationalization of the curriculum, appraisal, testing, accountability, restructuring, enterprise culture, and self-management, as well as through the cooption of progressive categories like collegiality, teacher development, and other reflective approaches to teaching. While these discourses mark out the oppressive contours of teaching there is considerable space to imagine and live out alternative discourses and practices. The way out of the miasma, the authors argues, is to robustly confront and vigorously supplant dominant managerialist discourses with agenda and practices that are more democratic, educative, and socially just.
KEY WORDS: Paid Employment; Formal Education.

Stanton, J. M., Bachiochi, P. D., Robie, C., Perez, L. M., & Smith, P. C. (2002). Revising the JDI work satisfaction subscale: Insights into stress and control. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 62(5), 877-895.


This paper studied the Work Satisfaction subscale of the Job Descriptive Index (JDI) to determine the difference between measuring work stress and measuring work satisfaction. Results from samples of 1,623 and 314 adults provide evidence on JDI improvement.
KEY WORDS: Adults; Measures (Individuals); Stress Variables; Test Construction; Test Items; Job Descriptive Index.

Stephens, P., Tonnessen, F. E., & Kyriacou, C. (2004). Teacher "training" and teacher "education" in England and Norway: A comparative study of policy goals. Comparative Education, 40(1), 109-130.


In this paper, we examine the complementary and differing state-defined roles of beginning schoolteachers in England and Norway by investigating centrally mandated initial teacher preparation programmes in both countries. Through comparative analysis, we get to see the roles that the policy-makers in London and Oslo seek to confer upon the educators of future generations of schoolchildren, as well as exploring opportunities for cross-cultural policy learning. In broad terms, we found that centrally prescribed initial teacher training in England is, as its name implies, a training model that seeks to induct trainee teachers into the practical skills and willingness necessary for: instructing pupils in National Curriculum subjects, managing classroom activities, setting homework to consolidate and extend classroom work and providing pupils with a safe learning environment. Centrally prescribed initial teacher education in Norway is, as its name implies, an educative model whose goal is to help student teachers to: reflect and act upon the practical implications of educational theory, instruct pupils in National Curriculum subjects, display leadership in the classroom, act as a member of a caring profession, promote Norwegian values and provide pupils with a safe learning environment.
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