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Teachers' Perceptions of their Work Environment in Swedish Junior High Schools
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Special Education.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Special Education.
2012 (English)In: Research in Comparative and International Education, ISSN 1745-4999, E-ISSN 1745-4999, Vol. 7, no 3, p. 376-393Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aims of this study were to explore the organisational characteristics of junior high schools, to identify typologies of work environments and to explore the relationships between the type of work environment and how schools function. The educational profession and the role of teachers have been influenced by policies inspired by the principles of new public management (NPM). The Swedish version of the Organizational Checkup Survey is a general and expanded version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory. The present work analyses the 16 items concerning energy, involvement and accomplishment (‘Relations to Work’) and the 29 items concerning workload, control, reward, community, fairness and values (‘Fields of Work’). The answers from 749 Swedish junior high school teachers from a stratified selection of 32 schools were analysed with a structural equation modelling approach. The means of the answers from the teachers from the same school were dichotomised and analysed with partial order scalogram analysis. The polarising variables contributing to the identification of four main profiles were reward and workload. There were gender differences: female teachers were more exhausted, felt more involved and were more dissatisfied with their workload than male teachers. There were also age differences, the younger teachers reporting, in particular, lower professional autonomy (control). The results show relevant differences between schools, and that teachers' perceptions of their work environment can be considered an indicator of school quality. The results of the comparisons are related to the conditions of high efficiency and deprofessionalisation of NPM-inspired educational organisations, and indicate a possible link between school organisation and teachers' perceptions of reward.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 7, no 3, p. 376-393
Keyword [en]
work stress, teachers' work situation, new public management, educational policy, gender differences, professional autonomy, reward, workload
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Special Education with a Focus on Educational Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-68081DOI: 10.2304/rcie.2012.7.3.376OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-68081DiVA, id: diva2:471775
Projects
Framgångsrika skolorSocialt klimat, delaktighet och lärande
Funder
Swedish Research Council, VR 2004-1489Swedish Research Council, VR 2008-4733
Available from: 2012-01-02 Created: 2012-01-02 Last updated: 2018-03-23Bibliographically approved

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