Dissonance between teachers’ worldviews and their roles and responsibilities as teachers: a case study
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the ways in which teachers’ prevailing worldviews interacted with their work environment, based on an understanding of teachers’ beliefs and value systems from a worldview perspective. The worldview perspective was chosen because it provided a holistic framework for the understanding of teachers’ beliefs and value structures and it also envisaged their potential to change especially in terms of the reconciling of teacher personal beliefs with the actual reality of teaching that are often underlying causal factors associated with stress. The thesis of the study centred on the proposition that through identifying teachers who were more likely to suffer stress in their work environments, schools could identify those teachers that required support.Findings from the study suggest that worldviews of teachers affect all aspects of their lives. Teachers who share similar worldviews have similar beliefs regarding educational issues. However, teaching is influenced by experience and context. When teachers’ worldviews are in conflict with their experiences in teaching they often are shown to feel stress and frustration. However, whilst a situation may be perceived to be stressful by one individual, another may interpret it as harmless. It is therefore the mediating aspect of cognitive appraisal that will ultimately determine whether the outcome is experienced as stress. There seems to be no single element in isolation that is a causal factor in the perception of the concept known as stress. Rather, the researcher argues, based on the study outcomes, that it is the interplay between environmental stimuli, the cognitive appraisal through worldview, and the individual and supportive resources, that combine to produce a stress transaction that is perceived as stressful or not stressful.
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