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Understanding the factors that build teacher resilience

Eldridge, Madelaine (2013) Understanding the factors that build teacher resilience. D.Ed.Psy thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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The alarmingly high rates of teacher attrition in the UK and abroad are perhaps unsurprising given that teaching is consistently ranked among the top most stressful occupations. Up until relatively recently, researchers have sought to address this problem by investigating the causes of teacher stress and burnout, and the coping strategies that teachers may use in response to feeling stressed and burnt out. However, this has facilitated a deficit approach to understanding the problem, with teachers viewed as personally responsible for their stress and burnout because they have failed to engage in strategies to ‘cope’ with their problem. Rather than focusing on the idea of ‘coping’ with a ‘problem’, this research adopted a ‘what-works’ approach and investigated teacher resilience. This qualitative research adopted a phenomenological approach and data was collected over two phases using semi-structured interviews. In total, 30 participants were interviewed; 25 experienced mainstream class teachers in phase one of data collection and 5 mainstream primary school teachers in phase two of data collection. NVivo9 supported a thematic approach to data analysis, which identified themes in the strategies and major processes that facilitated the experience of teacher resilience. The findings reveal that complex interactions exist between the personal and environmental factors that facilitate the experience teacher resilience during professional challenges. The participants’ conceptualisations of teacher resilience are compared and contrasted with previous research and theorybased literature on teacher resilience, and directions for future research are suggested. Implications for Educational Psychologists are discussed, including systemic interventions at the individual teacher and whole school level.

Item Type: Thesis (D.Ed.Psy)
Controlled Keywords: Qualitative research, interviews
Subjects: Departments > Psychology and Human Development
Depositing User: Mr Graeme Naylor
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2014 15:55
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2015 16:43
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