Leroux, M., & Théorêt, M. (2014). Intriguing empirical relations between teachers’ resilience and reflection on practice. Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives. doi: 10.1080/14623943.2014.900009
This article drew on a doctoral study that examined the association between teachers’ resilience and their re?ection on practice. In the paper, resilience is conceptualized as “tak[ing] stress as a challenge and try[ing] to improve professionally” (p. 1). Another important construct explored by the paper was teacher reflection, defined as an “active, persistent and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it and the further conclusions to which it tends” (Dewey, 1933, p. 9). The participants of the study were twenty-three elementary teachers from seven high-poverty schools with experience varying from under six years to more than 15 years. They were asked to keep a daily stress diary in four consecutive weeks, complete a 38-item Web questionnaire on the quality of working life (Quality of Working Life Systemic Inventory), and participate in a 90-minute semi-structured interview to identify the perceived risk and protective factors as well as their reflection. The results indicated that most teachers experienced a high level of stress during the four weeks of study, feeling unsatisfied with their income security, relationship with their leaders, workload, physical requirements, resources and clarity of role. In the face of adversity, some protective factors were identified: good relationships with colleagues, pupils and parents. However, the most important protective factor that helped the teachers bounce back was their professional abilities and competences. With regard to teacher reflection, the data showed that some teachers relied on external factors (e.g. colleagues and leaders), some on internal factors (e.g. behaviours, competences and beliefs) while others on both to find solutions to their problems. Irrespective of the methods, it was found reflective attitudes played a fundamental role in fostering teacher resilience, helping teachers explore their problems and come up with appropriate strategies, especially in underprivileged contexts. The study suggested that pre-service and in-service teachers should be given opportunities to self-question and reflect in order to nurture their problem-solving skills. Through the results, the study also developed an integrated model of resilience and re?ection.
Leroux, M., Théorêt, M., & Garon, R. (2010). Exploration of the Relations between teacher resilience and Teacher Reflection in Inner-City Schools. Paper presented at the 2010 AERA Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado.
This paper aimed at exploring the relations between teacher resilience and reflection. The study cited Masten, Best and Garmezy’s (1990) definition of resilience: “resilience refers to the process of, capacity for, or outcome of successful adaptation despite challenging or threatening circumstances” (p. 425). In this mixed method research design, 23 teachers from underprivileged elementary inner-city schools were asked to complete a Web questionnaire on quality of working life; after that, each teacher was interviewed for 90 minutes. The results showed that the teachers faced challenging working conditions, with three sources of stress identified: heavy workload, lack of time to do the work and hard class management. In the face of such adversities, there were four resilience profiles among the teachers who drew on two dominant protective factors, professional abilities and competences. The resilient teachers were also found to possess problem-solving skills as well as a sense of self-efficacy. Moreover, the data indicated that teacher resilience and reflection could be related. To conclude the paper, the researchers maintained that teacher empowerment and professional development should be given more attention to promote teacher resilience.
Oswald, M., Johnson, B., & Howard, S. (2003). Quantifying and evaluating resilience-promoting factors: Teachers' beliefs and perceived roles. Research in Education(70), 50
These researchers identified from the literature five key protective factors in family, schools, community, peers and individual child's predispositions. These were combined with eight key qualities identified in literature as comprising a profile of resilient child to develop a questionnaire that also included 18 questions from a previous study relating to strategies to promote resilience. Australian teachers from different levels of schooling were asked what they believed to be the most potent protective factors for their students' resilience and were asked what strategies they used in their classrooms to foster resilience. There were some differences between teachers of different genders and teaching at different levels of schooling. In general, teachers tended to undervalue the potential and actual role they could have in promoting resilience in their students who were at risk.
Pocinho, M., & Capelo, M. R. (2009).Vulnerabilidade ao stress, estratégias de coping e autoeficácia em professores portugueses [Vulnerability to stress, coping strategies and self-efficiency among Portuguese teachers]. Educação e Pesquisa, 35, 351-367. DOI: 10.1590/S1517-97022009000200009
Translated abstract – In this work we present a research carried out on teachers to determine their vulnerability to stress, to identify the main sources of stress, to recognize teachers' main coping strategies, to analyze whether such strategies affect the presence of stress at work, and to establish whether the self-efficiency perceived can be used to predict work stress. This is a correlational questionnaire-based research performed on a 54-teacher sample from Portugal's public basic education schools. The answers to the Social, Demographic and Professional Questionnaire, to the Stress Vulnerability Questionnaire — 23QVS (Serra, 2000), to the Teacher Stress Questionnaire — QSP (Gomes et al., 2006; Gomes, 2007), to the Coping Job Scale — CJS (Latack, adapted by Jesus and Pereira, 1994) and to the General Self-efficiency Assessment Scale (Ribeiro, 1995) revealed that 20.4% of teachers are vulnerable to stress. The study shows that the main sources of stress are found in students' lack of discipline or misbehaviour, and that control strategies are the most common to deal with stress, followed by escape strategies and symptom management. Teachers not vulnerable to stress use mainly control strategies and they display higher efficacy levels under adversity, as well as more initiative and perseverance than the teachers that are vulnerable to stress.
Price, A., Mansfield, C., & McConney, A. (2012). Considering ‘teacher resilience’ from critical discourse and labour process theory perspectives. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 33(1), 81-95.
In this paper, resilience development among early career teachers is discussed as a measure to address the issue of high teacher attrition rate in Australian schools. The views presented in the paper originated from the professional conversations in which the authors engaged as they reviewed the literature of teacher resilience for the Keeping Cool project (2009). Factors that constitute teacher resilience, such as altruism, self-efficacy, confidence and coping strategies, were mentioned, while the relationship between teacher identity and resilience was also discussed. Added to this, a significant proportion of the paper was devoted to the analysis of contextual factors such as risk factors and protective factors that affect resilience. Finally, the paper concluded with a discussion of resilience implications for pre-service teacher education.
Sammons, P., Day, C., Kington, A., Gu, Q., Stobart, G., & Smees, R. (2007). Exploring variations in teachers' work, lives and their effects on pupils: Key findings and implications from a longitudinal mixed-method study. British Educational Research Journal, 33(5), 681
This paper outlines the findings from case studies over three years of a representative sample of 300 English primary and secondary teachers. Comprehensive data collection methods and analysis are described. Key findings related to teacher Professional Life Phases, Professional Identity, Relative Effectiveness and Resilience and Commitment are discussed. The findings indicate that teachers matter more in accounting for differences in pupil progress than schools. Furthermore, the importance of good relationships in a school or department and of a supportive professional context are highlighted. Implications for policy makers are identified.
Tait, M. (2008). Resilience as a contributor to novice teacher success, commitment, and retention. Teacher Education Quarterly, Fall, 57-75.
This study focused on novice teachers' resilience, personal efficacy and emotional competence and their possible impact on their sense of success, confidence, and commitment to the profession. Resilience is defined as "...a mode of interacting with events in the environment that is activated and nurtured in times of stress (p. 58). Resilience is closely linked with personal efficacy and emotional intelligence within the article. This mixed-methods study profiled a novice teacher in Toronto, Ontario who was considered to be representative of the themes raised by four resilient study participants (out of 25) who rated themselves highly in terms of both satisfaction and stressful experiences on a questionnaire. Participants completed a Stress Resilience Test (SRT) (Chrysalis Performance Strategies, 2003), participated in guided interviews, and wrote a piece of prose linking their vision of teaching to an area of personal interest or expertise through metaphor. Highly resilient novices were identified as demonstrating social competence, taking advantage of opportunities to develop personal efficacy, using problem-solving strategies, having the ability to rebound after a difficult experience, learning from experience and setting goals for the future, taking care of oneself, and maintaining a sense of optimism. The author recommended that pre-service programs emphasize the collegial nature of teaching, provide opportunities to forge personal and professional relationships, offer resilience-building activities and strategies, address emotional competencies, encourage novice teachers to recognize and talk about resilient responses to events, and provide assertiveness training. In addition, reasonable teaching assignments, promoting mentoring and networking groups and selective admissions were identified as useful strategies for promoting resilient teachers.
Thieman, E. B., Henry, A. L., & Kitchel, T. (2012). Resilient agricultural educators: Taking stress to the next level. Journal of Agricultural Education, 53(1), 81-94.
This article, which aimed at introducing the concept of resilience to agricultural education, defines teacher resilience as “the capacity to adjust to adverse conditions to increase one’s competence, achieve school goals, and remain committed to teaching” (p. 83). Analysing 16 articles, books, dissertations, theses, articles, and conference proceedings relating to the topics of teacher stress, burnout and resiliency as well as consulting with agricultural education faculty members, the researchers found that agricultural teachers face many work-related stressors such as coaching career development event teams, supervising student projects outside of the classroom, preparation of lesson plans, and student evaluation, which may lead to burnout, inappropriate behaviours and cognitive malfunctions. However, resilient teachers usually bounce back due to the support of several protective factors, namely salary, adequate teaching materials and facilities, positive work climate, administrator and colleague support, adequate time allotted for job responsibilities, advancement and security, inner sense of self-efficacy, and satisfaction through the observation of student success. Resilient teachers were also found to possess many resilience strategies: help seeking, advanced problem solving skills, effective management of difficult relationships, a sense of occupational agency, occupational competence, pride in achievements, flexible and adaptive, and effective time management strategies leading to a positive work-life balance. As recommendations, the researchers suggested that teacher education programs and administrators should provide teachers with assistance on coping resources, time management, and stress management techniques. Moreover, a recruitment process should be put in place to recruit teachers who are more likely to stay. The researchers also recommended that future research should further investigate conditions that support teacher resilience.
Tschannen-Moran, M., & Woolfolk Hoy, A. (2007). The differential antecedents of self-efficacy beliefs of novice and experienced teachers. Teaching & Teacher Education, 23, 944-956.
This paper uses quantitative methods to establish that early career teachers are more affected by contextual factors such as resources and interpersonal support. The paper builds upon the work of Bandura (1986), suggesting that helping early career teachers to develop mastery experiences will lead to higher levels of self-efficacy in relation to their ability to teach. It is argued that this in turn will help to create more resilient teachers.
Waddell, J. (2007). The time is now: The role of professional learning communities in strengthening resiliency of teachers in urban school. In D. M. Davis (Ed.), Resiliency considered policy implications of the resiliency movement (pp. 123-145). Charlotte, North Carolina: Information Age Publishing.
This chapter drew on a 2005 study of 8 elementary teachers in a Midwest urban school district in the United States to examine why teachers stayed. Resilience in the chapter was featured as “the ability to adapt and thus bounce back when faced with conditions that create disequilibrium or adversity” (Bernshausen & Cunningham, 2001, p. 1). Urban teachers were found to face more challenging working conditions than suburban and rural teachers due to overwhelming workloads, challenging students, poor student motivation, lack of administrative support, and low salaries. To combat these challenges, several features were shown to contribute to teacher resilience: perseverance, service, a sense of ownership, and self-efficacy. Indeed, it was their inner drive, their commitment to the profession, their desire to make a difference to the students’ lives that kept them going. Another important reason that made the teachers stay was the feeling of being needed, respected, supported and valued by principals and colleagues, as well as being involved in school decisions. Most importantly, the teachers’ sense of self-efficacy, their confidence in being a teacher, enabled them to overcome challenges and obstacles successfully. A substantial part of the chapter was devoted to the discussion of the role of principals in promoting teacher resilience. In short, the chapter emphasised the role of principals, relationships, support system and self-efficacy as major constituents of teacher resilience.
Watt, H. M. G., & Richardson, P. W. (2008). Motivations, perceptions, and aspirations concerning teaching as a career for different types of beginning teachers. Learning and Instruction, 18(5), 408-428
The authors provided strong empirical evidence for the existence of different types of pre-service teachers. Highly engaged persisters (45%, n=230) were said to be more likely to be from non-English speaking backgrounds and lower socio-economic status. These students saw more intrinsic rewards in teaching and aspired to stay in teaching for their entire career. Highly engaged switchers (27%, n=137), on the other hand, were from more affluent backgrounds and already had planned a switch in career as they were graduating. This group were said to be more ambitious and sought leadership positions in teaching. A third group - lower engaged desisters (28%, n=143) – were reported to have become disaffected during their university studies and were not comfortable with the fit between themselves and teaching as a career path. This group was more concerned with extrinsic rewards from teaching. The paper used a rigorous quantitative approach to derive these categories and pointed towards significant implications for teacher education and professional development. Approaches to rewarding and retaining teachers should take account of the different profiles of beginning teacher, in particular their different goals, commitments, plans and aspirations.
Woolfolk Hoy, A., & Burke Spero, R. (2005). Changes in teacher efficacy during the early years of teaching: A comparison of four measures. Teaching & Teacher Education, 21, 343-356.
The study compared 4 measures of teacher efficacy to determine if (a) teacher efficacy changed during early years of teaching, (b) there were similar patterns of change over the measures and (c) common factors emerged that might be related to changes in teacher efficacy. It was found that, on all 4 measures, teacher efficacy increased during student teaching but decreased during the first year of teaching. Bandura's theory of self-efficacy (1977) suggests that efficacy may be most malleable early in learning. Therefore, the early years of teaching could be critical to the long-term development of teacher efficacy. The findings suggest that support for early career teachers is crucial in maintaining their sense of mastery over the teaching profession and therefore their long-term efficacy in their ability to teach.
Yonezawa, S., Jones, M., & Singer, N. R. (2011). Teacher resilience in urban schools: The importance of technical knowledge, professional community, and leadership opportunities. Urban Education, 46(5), 913-931.
This paper explored how the National Writing Project (NWP), a national yearly professional development program in the United States, contributed to the development of teacher resilience. In the article, resilience is regarded as being formed in the interaction between the teachers and their supportive contexts. In-depth interviews were conducted with six primary and secondary teachers working in urban, high poverty schools with teaching experience ranging from 25 to 40 years. The participants reported the NWP assisted them professionally in three aspects: technical information, cultural support, and development of individual agency and leadership, which fostered their resilience throughout their career. The teachers felt the project enhanced their efficacy, equipping them with the tools and techniques to improve their capacity to engage their students. Through that, their sense of competence and professional identity was promoted, making them stay through the span of their career. Moreover, attending the NWP also gave the teachers an opportunity to meet and share with colleagues the challenges they faced in urban schools and worked out ways to overcome their problems, something they often missed at their own school because of the school culture and/or politics. The paper concluded that professional development leads to greater teacher resilience and retention, especially in schools with children from low socioeconomic backgrounds.
Yost, D.S. (2006). Reflection and Self-Efficacy: Enhancing the Retention of Qualified Teachers from a Teacher Education Perspective. Teacher Education Quarterly (Fall), 9-76.
This study incorporated qualitative methods to identify the obstacles, the aspects of teacher education that shaped success, and the extent that teachers were able to use critical reflection as a problem-solving tool. The study involved interviewing ten second-year teachers and their principals, observations of teaching, and a follow-up questionnaire three years later. Results of the study supported the view that the development of self-efficacy during teacher training involved opportunities to successfully apply learning in practice, and to critically reflect upon challenges. A supportive school environment was not found to be the most important factor in retaining teachers, since efficacious teachers tended to transfer rather than drop out of teaching altogether.