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ERIC Number: EJ806132
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-0313-7155
Alienation among Relief Teachers Servicing Government Metropolitan Primary Schools
Lunay, Ralph G.; Lock, Graeme
Issues in Educational Research, v16 n2 p171-192 2006
Research suggests that the relief (substitute) teacher should be viewed as an extremely important educational resource. Reviewed literature spanning the better part of twenty years indicates that in parts of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, many students spend as much as one full year (or more) of their K-12 education having curriculum delivered to them by these individuals. Unfortunately, the literature also indicates that many relief teachers are still viewed by many as less than "real" teachers in terms of perceived competence, skill and capability. In addition to this, the existence of a number of pervasive, enduring systemic problems has been identified as being present in the educational systems of the above three regions, which have been seen to impact negatively on the relief teacher, making the difficult job they do, even more arduous. There is reason to hypothesise that as a result of exposure to these problems, relief teachers could be expected to suffer from feelings of alienation and further "disconnection" from tenured colleagues, and that this may further marginalise them from the rest of the greater educational community. Research which attempts to further explore this issue has recently been completed in Western Australia. The study was qualitative in nature and utilised semi-structured interviews as the main data-gathering tool. Twenty relief teachers servicing Western Australian government metropolitan primary schools were interviewed. The findings of the current study showed conclusively, that feelings of alienation exist among the participants. Ninety five percent of the cohort identified feeling alienated as a direct result of working as relief teachers at Western Australian government metropolitan primary schools. This paper summarises the major findings of that study. (Contains 5 figures.)
Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Inc. 5/202 Coode Street, Como, Western Australia 6152, Australia. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia