|dc.description.abstract||There is a growing body of evidence that occupational stress is a
problem for a significant number of teachers. Teacher stress has
a detrimental effect not only on the physical and mental
well-being of teachers, but on their efficiency and productivity
in the school setting as well.
This study investigated teacher stress within the interactional
framework. Its main aim was to determine the nature and extent
of stress patterns in a sample of 360 Indian school teachers
selected from ten secondary schools in the Greater Durban area.
Other closely related aims were to identify the most important
task-, situation- and role-based sources of stress among these
teachers, their most common reactions to excessive stress, their
common modes of coping, as well as their most important sources
of satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Furthermore, this study
sought to investigate the influence of demographic
characteristics on the teachers' experience of stress and coping.
For this purpose intra-group comparisons were made involving six
subsamples of teachers male - female, married - unmarried,
younger - older, less experienced - more experienced, diplomates
- graduates, Level One teachers - Heads of Departments.
A self-administered questionnaire and in-depth interviews were
used to obtain the quantitative and qualitative data required for
Among the most important findings of the study are the following:
1 . Over one-half of the number of the secondary teachers
surveyed (54%) perceived their job as being very stressful.
2. The four most frequent and intense sources of stress were
related to the working conditions of teachers rather than to
the actual task of teaching. These stressors relate to poor
career development prospects and a lack of accomplishment.
More specifically, these are, in rank order: (1) the system
of awarding merit notches; (2) the system of promotion;
(3) the system of evaluation; and (4) a relatively low
3. The four most important sources of role stress are, in rank
order : (1) the volume and variety of tasks that teachers
are expected to perform and the adverse effect this has on
the quality of work they produce because of the limited time
at their disposal; (2) being compelled to perform duties
that appear to them to have little value; (3) having too
heavy a workload; and (4) uncertainty about how superiors
evaluate their teaching.
4. At least one-third of the teachers are "at risk" of
developing more serious health problems.
Finally, the limitations of this study are discussed, and various
recommendations are made. It is argued that stress among teachers
is a complex phenomenon arising out of the interaction of a whole
host of factors and circumstances. Consequently, any attempt at
amelioration should be multidimensional in nature and involve a
variety of disciplines.||en_US