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Title: A study of policy change and stress amongst teachers in Scottish schools
Author: Morrison, Catherine
ISNI:       0000 0004 2743 6963
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2012
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The study explored whether initial impressions of occupational stress observed in teachers were derived from educational changes or factors intrinsic to teaching. It involved 49 teachers in two learning communities in a Scottish inner city location and a further six teachers who were not part of either learning community, but who were studying for a higher degree at a Scottish university. The study began in 2005, in the early years following the implementation of major education reforms by the new Scottish Parliament since 2000. A literature review revealed many examples of occupational stress in teaching, but a paucity of research undertaken specifically in Scottish schools. The mixed-method qualitative approach used a postal questionnaire- survey, adapted from one constructed for the purpose and used by Travers and Cooper. Fifty-six teachers out of a possible 144 responded to the questionnaire. The statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) was used to analyse the re sponses to determine the mean stress score and SD of the stressor variables and to determine the level of agreement with statements linked to new policy in the attitude scale. Nine teachers agreed to follow-up group interviews, utilising a thematic framework for analysis of the teachers' accounts. A further question, linked specifically to Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), was sent to the schools via email. The study found that factors related to general workload, policy on inclusion and HMIE were the major stressors. Lack of control, of and in their professional lives, evolved as a major issue for many teachers. Another important finding was that teachers and headteachers thought that pupil attainment had not risen following the initiatives. Teachers showed a positive response to CfE, especially to the autonomy they felt in delivering the curriculum, but workload associated with CfE received negative comments. Workload does appear to be a continuing issue in teaching, still largely unrecognised by government. With the withdrawal of the Chartered Teacher scheme, which was not well supported by teachers, the question of how to reward experienced teachers who wish to remain in the classroom is still unresolved.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available