STUDENT TEACHER STRESS: A MATTER OF EXPERIENCE?
UIniversity of Edinburgh (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Page: 4341 (abstract only)
Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:This study explored physical education (PE) student teachers perception of stress associated with school experience. While the notion of student teacher’ stress’ is somewhat contested there is evidence to suggest that these neophytes can experience the same levels of stress as their more experienced counterparts(Kyraicou, Hulgarten & Stephens. 1999) and indeed, the seeds of burnout are often sown in the formative phase of their professional development (Gold & Roth, 1983).
Overall, 175 undergraduate and 22 postgraduate PE students participated in the study. A survey design was adopted and utilized self-report questionnaires. The Placement Concerns Questionnaire (D’Rozario & Wong, 1996) measured perception of stress during school experience and the Student Stress Scale (Mulholland, 2008) gauged stress within everyday student life. The General Health Questionnaire (Goldberg, 1972) enabled comparisons between student teacher well being and that of the general population. The Glasgow Symptom Checklist (Mahmood, 1999) provided an indication of the extent to which student teachers’ well being was comparable to the Scottish clinical population.
Stressors pertaining to performance evaluation; managing workload and class management were significant sources of stress for the group. The main sources of stress were: ‘having high expectations of own performance’; ‘delivering the lesson’; ‘coping with overall workload’ and ‘managing the class and enforcing discipline’. Interestingly, professional interactions were not a significant source of stress. During their school experience 40 per cent of students ‘felt constantly under strain’; one-fifth experienced levels of tension and loss of control normally associated with a clinical population. In addition, almost one third reported changes in well being indicative of requiring clinical intervention. The postgraduate group experienced all dimensions of teaching as significantly more stressful than the undergraduate cohort. Ninety-one per cent of the postgraduate cohort perceived ‘teaching’ as ‘quite’ to ‘very’ stressful and at the same time recorded a significantly greater decline in well being.
Based on significant differences in stress and well being scores all PG students (N-22) participated in follow up semi-structured individual interviews. A constant comparative analysis highlighted differences could be explained by their efforts to adapt to the demands of teaching and constant performance evaluation in a climate imbued with unrealistic expectations and issues of efficacy.
Keywords: School Experience of Student Teachers, Stress, Well Being.