ERIC Number: ED230537
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Frozen and Forgotten: Stress among Alaskan Bush Teachers.
High teacher attrition in rural Alaska is abetted by stress induced by the culturally and environmentally differing milieus of the arctic and sub-arctic. Severe climatic conditions curtail traditional activities, and confined isolated settings place strain on personal relationships and heighten irritability, anxiety, and anger, often leading to unique psychological and possibly physiological syndromes, such as cabin fever. Stress arising from the sociocultural complexity of the native culture is more disabling than that arising from the physical environment. Differing inter-ethnic communicative styles, culturally inappropriate teaching methods, dissimilar values, negative peer socialization processes, and village housing contribute to the teachers' problems. Teachers who are aided by technology and who take an active role in traditional out-of-door village activities can temper the psychological impact of arctic darkness and isolation. Many teachers gradually develop culturally congruent teaching styles and a contextual understanding of the native Alaskan pupil's world. The ability to cope with the unique stresses of teaching in rural Alaska requires time, effort, tolerance, flexibility, and objectivity. (JD)
Descriptors: Adjustment (to Environment), Alaska Natives, Antisocial Behavior, Communication Problems, Community Attitudes, Coping, Culture Conflict, Depression (Psychology), Elementary Secondary Education, Emotional Problems, Environmental Influences, Rural Education, Stress Variables, Teacher Burnout, Teacher Morale, Teacher Persistence
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at a Meeting of the National Council of States on Inservice Education (7th, Atlanta, GA, November 19-23, 1982).