THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STRESS AND PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES OF TOWNSHIP SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHERS
Central University of Technology (SOUTH AFRICA)
The township secondary school teachers experience stress due to factors such as lack of teaching and learning resources, poor professional training and work overload. The circumstances of the individual teacher, personal or environmental, play an important role in the level of stress that the teacher may experience. In this study stressors of township secondary school teachers were identified. A total of 115 stressors were identified. Then the factor analysis was used and the 115 stressors were grouped into 22 factors. These factors were named. The names included factors such as teacher dissatisfaction, low morale, learner malfeasance and lack of learning culture. The personal circumstances of teachers, their work-load and the time spent at school were also determined. The circumstances were divided into the following eight categories: gender, age, marital status, qualifications, fields of specialisation, the number of periods taught per week, the number of grades taught per week, and the number of hours spent on extra-curricular activities per week. The aim of this study was to investigate if the personal and environmental circumstances of teachers have an influence on the way they experienced stress (or if there was a relationship between the eight categories identified and the 22 factors formed). The study was mainly quantitative. A questionnaire was developed, and administered on 368 educators from 36 township secondary schools in the Free State Province. Eight hypotheses were developed in relation to the eight categories. The hypotheses were investigated by means of the chi-square test. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) was also used to determine relationships between the different stressors and categories. It was found that different categories contributed differently to the stress situation of different teachers. For instance, it was found that teachers older than 40 years of age experienced higher stress for the factor ‘political dilemmas’ than their younger colleagues; and the factor ‘learner malfeasance’ stressed male teachers more than it stressed female teachers. Possible reasons for these differences are also provided.
The findings could be helpful in allocating duties and responsibilities within the school.