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ERIC Number: EJ795231
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 31
ISSN: ISSN-0737-5328
Education Reform and the Role of Administrators in Mediating Teacher Stress
Margolis, Jason; Nagel, Liza
Teacher Education Quarterly, v33 n4 p143-159 Fall 2006
School change is inevitable. As a human institution, schools are in a constant state of transformation, and individual teachers adapt or provide the impetus for that transformation all the time. The question, then, is not whether there will be change, but what change there will be--a question complicated by the fact that change means different things to different people. The tensions between innovation-status quo and teacher-administrator perceptions within a school-change effort form the basis for this study. Through phenomenological inquiry focused on teacher and administrator meaning-making, this study explored the inherent complications of change. Further, this study responded to the call for empirical research on the relationships between teacher learning and school restructuring and the interface between teacher and school change. To better understand how teachers experience changing educational policies, the goal here was to document and interpret teachers' "lived experience" via phenomenological inquiry--"What is it like to teach amidst educational change?" This article examines educator perceptions of change, the way in which they integrated the prescribed changes, and the role of administrators in mediating the attendant stressors, thus impacting the efficacy of the proposed reform. Three major findings emerged from this study: (1) There is a "complex interactive relationship" between structures in schools designed to yield certain changes and the lived experiences of teachers within those structures; (2) "Teacher vitality" is an important dimension of teacher lived experience and the viability of school reforms; and (3) "Teacher role embodiment"--the perceived compatibility between a teacher's sense of self and the roles they take on within a school--impacts teacher satisfaction and feelings of self-worth and the viability of school reforms. These findings are rooted in teacher lived experience of change efforts, and indicate that individual teacher and collective staff remembered experiences become intertwined. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Administrators
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A