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ERIC Number: EJ1134916
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Aug
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0256-0100
EISSN: N/A
Meaning in Work of Secondary School Teachers: A Qualitative Study
Fourie, Mandi; Deacon, Elmari
South African Journal of Education, v35 n3 Article 1047 Aug 2015
In order to identify specific, shared sources of meaning and mechanisms with which individuals attempt to make meaning, the objectives of this study were to explore the way in which secondary school teachers perceive, conceptualise and attain meaning in their work. A qualitative design with a phenomenological strategy was used with a convenience sample (n = 20) of teachers. Semi-structured, one-to-one interviews with open-ended questions were used to gather data. Participants were asked to diarise related issues for five working days following the interview, in order to strengthen and validate the interviews' results. The results showed that the participants conceptualise meaning as purpose and significance, and that the main sources of meaning related to work include the transfer of knowledge, and making a positive difference in the learners' lives. Forming relationships based on trust and receiving feedback was also important. The main mechanisms identified were putting effort into preparations, while this group of participants reported that meaning leads to the experience of happiness and personal satisfaction. Although most of these findings support those in the broader literature, there are differences in the emphasis placed on some of the findings, due to the context of education in South Africa. From the results, recommendations were made to create opportunities for teachers to experience more meaning in their work.
Education Association of South Africa. University of Pretoria, Centre for the Study of Resilience, Level 3, Groenkloof Student Centre, Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, George Storrar Road and Lleyds Street, Pretoria 0001, South Africa. Tel: +27-12-420-5798; Fax: +27-12-420-5511; Web site: http://www.sajournalofeducation.co.za/index.php/saje/index
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A