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ERIC Number: ED258642
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Dec-20
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
The Burned-Out Community College Humanities Instructor: Causes and Cures.
Agte, Lloyd
The literature of education reveals a growing concern with the problems of job-related stress and an increasing incidence of burnout among teachers. An understanding of what causes burnout (i.e., to deplete oneself, to exhaust one's physical and mental resources, to wear oneself out by excessively striving to reach some unrealistic expectation) among community college humanities instructors requires a look at national, departmental, and personal influences. The character, role, and functions of the community college and its students demand that teachers devote a great deal of time and energy and undergo pressure and stress to combat student-worker boredom, alienation, exhaustion, and indifference. Society expects the community college to improve retention, increase access, establish and maintain high standards, and prepare students for the workforce, while at the same time national priorities have diminished the ability of colleges to fulfill their promises and meet societal expectations. This classical burnout structure is compounded for humanities faculty, whose courses are considered frills, whose teaching load is divided among the "elite" humanities courses and the "service" remediation and composition courses, and who often face interdepartmental and interpersonal conflict. Finally, burnout can occur on an individual level through defeated idealism, long-term conditioning, and unrewarding job conditions. Individuals can combat burnout by being realistic about the problems in community colleges, by taking stock of their own goals and aspirations, and by re-entering the labyrinth of learning and discovery. In addition, the issue of burnout must be addressed on a local and national scale to not only cure but prevent burnout. (HB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A