14 SES 12 C, Understanding Teacher Professionalism and Practice in North and Eastern European Rural Communities
The paper presentation provides insight into teacher’s role conflicts in rural areas in Norway, Poland and Lithuania. The qualitative data comprises 29 semi-structured interviews. They were conducted between December 2014 and April 2015 among teachers and kindergarten teachers working in rural schools and kindergartens (in countries mentioned above). This paper analyzes one of the categories that covers our research question and refers to role conflicts. In order to get a deeper insight in meanings of this category (teacher values, attitudes and their social capital) qualitative content analysis procedure – following Mayring (2000) was applied. Teachers in rural areas might experience role conflicts due to tight bonds in a local community as well as they possibly (have to) represent several (contradictory) positions. For example, role conflicts can be triggered when a teacher is a relative of student. Role conflicts might occur too at other places like shops or the sports club. Role conflicts can follow out of the fact that teachers teach without adequate background. Such a situation cause that it is for them unavoidable to learn to deal with close relations. They have to make use of the local cultural / social code in order to suffice and work as a teacher. It seems reasonable to assume that coping with close relations as well as teacher’s visibility has impact on teacher attitudes. The analysis will elaborate on intra-role conflicts as well as on inter-role conflicts when teachers try to meet the “agenda” of the rural community.
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