ERIC Number: ED389149
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-May-26
Working Conditions: Job Design. Working Paper #4.
Gersten, Russell; And Others
This summary report presents an integration of findings on teachers' perceptions of their working conditions, based on survey and interview data from special educators in six large urban school districts. Emphasis is on perceptions of problems related to job design, the highly interrelated set of structures, systems, and processes intended to support major work objectives. Major findings include: (1) perceived role conflicts and difficulties prioritizing their many diverse responsibilities; (2) a sense of role overload and increasing work challenges further intensified by shortages of resources; (3) a sense of weakened autonomy regarding their professional judgment; and (4) difficulties relating to the larger school culture and collaboration with general educators. This combination of factors is seen to lead to high levels of stress, worsening feelings about the ability to teach effectively, and, in some cases, lower commitment to the field. Recommendations resulting from the study include: increase the information flow from central offices to special education teachers at school sites; provide more relevant professional development opportunities; and provide more opportunities for meaningful shared decision-making. The body of the report addresses each of the four identified areas of difficulty and includes quotations from teachers interviewed. (DB)
Descriptors: Disabilities, Elementary Secondary Education, Job Development, Job Satisfaction, Professional Autonomy, Quality of Working Life, Regular and Special Education Relationship, Role Perception, Special Education Teachers, Stress Variables, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Morale, Teacher Role, Urban Education
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: National Dissemination Forum on Issues Relating to Special Education Teacher Satisfaction, Retention and Attrition (Washington, DC. May 25-26, 1995); see EC 304 434.