"I just want to teach": Queensland independent school teachers and their workload

Timms, Carolyn, Graham, Deborah, and Cottrell, David (2007) "I just want to teach": Queensland independent school teachers and their workload. Journal of Educational Administration, 45 (5). pp. 569-586.

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Purpose – The present study seeks to elucidate observed mismatches with workload in teacher respondents to a survey exploring aspects of the work environment.

Design/methodology/approach – This phase of the study constituted a pen and paper survey of 298 currently serving teachers in independent schools in Queensland, Australia. Measures used in the research included the Areas of Worklife Survey (AWLS), which identifies matches or mismatches between the worker and organization on six areas of worklife, the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OLBI), and the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES).

Findings – One sample t-tests revealed respondents reported significantly higher matches in the control, community, fairness and values areas of work life than previously surveyed populations, whereas they reported no difference in reward, and significantly more mismatch with workload. Respondents reported significantly higher levels than previously established norms on the OLBI dimension of exhaustion, but similar levels of disengagement. Responses to the UWES revealed significantly higher dedication and absorption and lower vigor than previously established norms. In addition, respondents reported working long hours in order to fulfill all obligations. Expansion of the quantitative data with respondent comments indicated that teachers working independent schools in Queensland have reached a level of workload that is unsustainable and which constitutes a serious risk to their mental and physical health.

Originality/value – This article pinpoints the many reasons why demands made on teachers have extended to a level which is making their work unsustainable and will be of interest to those involved in the teaching profession.

Item ID: 2542
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0957-8234
Keywords: teachers; job satisfaction; grievances; stress; Australia; workplace
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2009 04:13
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170107 Industrial and Organisational Psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920504 Occupational Health @ 60%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920408 Health Status (e.g. Indicators of Well-Being) @ 40%
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