02 SES 01 A, Opening Session: Transitions in Education and Research: Issues facing Teachers in VET and the Workplace
The Job Demands-Resources model of occupational engagement, wellbeing and burnout (JD-R: Demerouti, Bakker, Nachreiner, & Schaufeli, 2001) has demonstrated efficacy as a comprehensive, yet parsimonious model for workplace health and wellbeing. A recent meta-analysis of 66 studies by Park and colleagues (2014) found job control, a key element of JD-R, is an important resource in high job demand roles that can substantially reduce the risk of burnout. It directly mediates two of the three facets of burnout, by decreasing depersonalization and enhancing personal accomplishment. It is also closely related to work-related support, which has been shown in multiple studies to strongly mediate job demands (Halbesleben, 2006; Lee & Ashforth, 1996; Park et al., 2014).
Using the JD-R model to compare occupational risk, Phillips and Sen (2011) reported that educators have become the highest stressed of all professions. In just over 40 years they have moved from lowest to highest. So, it is necessary to determine whether increasing/changing demands and/or decreasing/inadequate resources are causing this shift. To address this N=5,102 school leaders have been responding to an on-line, longitudinal survey. Four waves of data collection from Australia and two waves from Ireland, are reported. The results confirm that job demands are increasing rapidly. However, the increasing demands are not related to educational issues. They are a bureaucratic, “administrivia” burden, reducing leaders’ decision latitude, which is an important factor in job control. In both countries leaders’ report the two highest stressors as “the sheer volume of work” and “not enough time to focus on teaching and learning”. At the same time, many principals are reporting decreasing levels of professional support. The increasing demands and decreasing resources appear to be seriously impacting the health of the profession and therefore the future of the children in their care. These combined findings strongly challenge many management assumptions about the best way to improve the outlook for the education workforce.
Beausaert, S., Devos, C., & Riley, P. (under review). On the mediating role of stress between job demands and burnout in Australian school principals: The compensating role of social support from colleagues. Teaching and Teacher Education. Demerouti, E., Bakker, A. B., Nachreiner, F., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2001). The job demands-resources model of burnout. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(3), 499-512. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.86.3.499 Halbesleben, J. R. (2006). Sources of social support and burnout: A meta-analytic test of the conservation of resources model. Journal of Applied Psychology, 91(5), 1134-1145. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.91.5.1134 Lee, R. T., & Ashforth, B. E. (1996). A meta-analytic examination of the correlates of the three dimensions of job burnout. Journal of Applied Psychology, 81(2), 123-133. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.81.2.123 Park, H. I., Jacob, A. C., Wagner, S. H., & Baiden, M. (2014). Job control and burnout: A meta-analytic test of the conservation of resources model. Applied Psychology, 63(4), 607-642. doi: 10.1111/apps.12008 Phillips, S., & Sen, D. (2011). Stress in head teachers. In J. Langan-Fox & C. L. Cooper (Eds.), Handbook of stress in the occupations (pp. 177-201). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.
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