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Title: The lamp of sacrifice : professional identity and work culture
Author: Price, Martin John
ISNI:       0000 0004 2704 7669
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2010
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Britain has a culture of long working hours, resulting in significant levels of work-related stress. Teachers are arguably the professional group most likely to experience pathological stress and burnout as a result of working long hours. Research in schools suggests that teachers’ work orientations are strongly influenced by factors of personal identity, social background, career stage and personal resilience to stress. In Further Education (FE) research hitherto has emphasised the impact of Government policy and managerial style on teacher behaviour, and notions of teacher professionalism. There has been less research into the impact of FE teacher identities and attitudes towards work upon their working lives. This thesis investigates the relatively under-researched area of work culture within a single FE College, in an attempt to discover the reasons underlying teacher’s reactions to the pressures of overwork. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were carried out with 13 teachers and managers to investigate teacher responses to the work culture of the College. Based upon existing theoretical models of stress and burnout, three groups of potential determinants are explored: personal identity, the social context of the College, and the impact of external political, economic and social factors. The research confirms the existence amongst College teachers of a culture of working long hours, and identifies examples of stress and burnout. Interview responses support previous research findings concerning the central importance of teacher identity. Interview data underline the importance of personal factors in determining teachers’ responses to workload and their resilience to stress. A model is developed which summarises potential teacher responses to workload stress, and proposes ways in which these may be linked to factors of teacher identity and work cultures. The findings also highlight the pivotal role of managers and work teams in supporting teachers, particularly those most emotionally susceptible to stress.
Supervisor: Lawy, Robert Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Further Education ; Work Culture ; Stress ; Professionalism