Emotional intelligence and well-being in teachers

Burger, Trudie (2009-12)

Thesis (MComm (Industrial Psychology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Teachers in the post-apartheid South Africa experience multiple, complex and constantly changing requirements within the teaching context, which contributes to high levels of stress. They are often faced with different challenges than those in more developed countries. For example, a lack of sufficient resources is a common occurrence in schools in South Africa. Furthermore, teachers regularly engage in multiple roles (e.g. that of the educator, social worker, nurse, etc.) Hence, some researchers identify teaching as a particularly stressful occupation, and suggest that teachers experience disproportionately high levels of stress, when compared to other occupations. Some reasons provided for the occurrence of this include long working hours, high workloads, lack of discipline and respect from learners, and the new South African curriculum, enforcing learner-centred or cooperative teaching methods. Consequences of teachers experiencing high levels of stress have ultimately resulted in the South African government admitting that they are facing a shortage in skilled teachers. Therefore, promoting the well-being of teachers is crucial. There is a need to invest in teacher well-being, in order to reduce the occurrence and consequences of stress in the workplace. The central role that emotions play in the stress process is increasingly recognised. It is said that an individual will experience stress and strain, if they perceive the situation as negative or stressful. For this reason, emotional intelligence (EI) has led to a new focus on the role of emotions in the workplace. More specifically, EI involves expressing, recognising, understanding and managing emotions. Research has proven that EI serves a buffering role against stress, and those individuals with higher EI experience better overall health.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In ‘n post-apartheid era kom Suid Afrikaanse onderwysers te staan teen ‘n stel vereistes wat voortdurend verander, asook kompleks en veelvoudig van aard is. Binne die opvoedkunde konteks dra hierdie faktore by tot hoë vlakke van stres. In kontras met ontwikkelde lande, staar Suid Afrikaanse onderwysers verskillende uitdagings in die gesig. Een voorbeeld behels die gebrek aan genoegsame hulpbronne, `n algemene verskynsel in Suid Afrikaanse skole. Voorts vervul onderwysers ook voortdurend verskeie rolle (bv. opvoeder, maatskaplike werker, verpleegster ens.). In vergeleke met ander beroepe, het sommige navorsers al uitgewys dat onderwysers aan buitengewone hoë stresvlakke blootgestel word. Hierdie hoë voorkoms van stres kan toe geskryf word aan lang werksure, hoë werkslading, gebrek aan dissipline en respek van leerders, asook die nuwe Suid-Afrikaanse kurrikulum wat leerder-gefokusde en uitkomsgebaseerde metodes afdwing. Gevolglik het die Suid-Afrikaanse regering onlangs erken dat daar tans ‘n gebrek aan opgeleide onderwysers bestaan. Daar is `n behoefte om in onderwysers se welstand te belê, ten einde die voorkoms en gevolge van stres in die werksplek te verminder. Die sentrale rol wat emosies speel in die stres-proses ontvang toenemend meer erkenning. Daar word aangevoer dat individue stres en spanning sal ondervind, indien hulle die situasie as negatief evalueer. Emosionele intelligensie (EI) het dus gelei tot ‘n nuwe bewustheid van die rol wat emosies in die werksplek speel. EI behels die uitdrukking, erkenning, begrip en bestuur van emosies. Navorsing toon dat EI ‘n buffer teen stres vorm, en diegene met hoër vlakke van EI ervaar beter algehele gesondheid. Tot op hede, is daar egter min navorsing gedoen ten opsigte van die rol wat EI vertolk in die stres-proses soos wat dit spesifiek deur onderwysers ervaar word. Hierdie tesis het die verwantskap tussen EI en beroepsverwante stres, spanning (fisiese- en sielkundige welstand), en die uitkomste van stres (werksatisfaksie, organisatoriese toewyding en werk-familie konflik) ondersoek.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/1727
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