01 SES 03 A, Workplace Issues
Parallel Paper Session
Education systems/ schools across Europe aspire to and claim to be harmonious, caring, environments intent on supporting and developing all those who work and study there. Many include positive statements about a culture of care for the individual within their values statements and seek to implement it in their teaching and learning environments. However, sometimes these are more aspirational than realised, with strong evidence in some countries and schools of an increasingly competitive environment where inspections, quality assurance, rankings and management styles are creating anxiety and stress amongst teachers working within schools. Bullying at work is considered as a severe type of social stress at work (Einarsen, 1999) and it is widely acknowledged that stress and bullying have major effects on organisations including: greater sickness absenteeism, impaired performance and higher turnover rates (Giga, Hoel & Lewis,2008).
There is evidence from many countries of workplace bullying of teachers (e.g. Australia: Djurkovic, McCormack, Casimir, 2008; Ireland: O’Moore et al., 2003:the Netherlands: Hubert and van Veldhoven, 2001; South Africa: De Wet, 2010; USA: Blase and Blase, 2003)
A recent report from Teacher Support Network (Harrison, 2011) highlighted the problem of workplace bullying in UK schools, citing an independent survey by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL, 2011) in which 72% of respondents said that bullying had caused them stress and 47%, of those who said that they had been bullied had considered leaving the profession. Earlier research (Bricheno & Thornton, 2006) found that 19% of teachers cited stress, and 10% cited bullying, as a reason for leaving teaching,
Given the high occurrence of teacher bullying, its reported increase, its prevalence at all levels, its human and economic cost, and problems with teacher retention, there is a need to illuminate the phenomenon of workplace bullying in the educational workplace.
This paper explores the experiences of teachers in UK schools who self identify as being bullied in their workplace.
Using data gathered from in-depth interviews with over 40 teachers, from all phases and seniority levels, this research sought to:
· explore the nature and range of teachers’ experiences of workplace bullying
- understand and capture the range and nature of those identified as bullies, and what their bullying actions involved
- identify the reasons for being bullied as perceived by the respondents, its impact on their personal and professional lives and the actions they’ve taken to address it
- encapsulate key aspects of teacher bullying in schools
ATL Press release: http://www.atl.org.uk/media-office/media-archive/quarter-education-bullied-colleagues.asp Blase, J. & Blase, J. (2003). ‘The phenomenology of principal mistreatment: teachers’ perspectives’. Journal of Educational Research, 41: 367–422. Bricheno, P., and Thornton, M. (2006) The Voices Of The Disenchanted: Why Teachers Leave Teaching. Paper presented at BERA 2006 University of Warwick 6-9 September De Wet (2010) The reasons for and the impact of principal-on-teacher bullying on the victims’ private and professional lives, Teaching and Teacher Education, 26: 1450-1459 Djurkovic , McCormack, Casimir, 2008, Workplace bullying and intention to leave:the moderating effect of perceived organisational support Human Resource Management Journal, 18 (4): 405–422 Durkheim, E. (1964) The Division of Labor in Society, New York: Free Press of Glencoe. Einarsen, S. (1999) The Nature and Causes of Bullying at Work, International Journal of Manpower, 20 (1/2): 16-27. Giga, S.I., Hoel, H., & Lewis, D. (2008) The Costs of Workplace Bullying, Research Commissioned by the Dignity at Work Partnership: A Partnership Project Funded Jointly by Unite the Union and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. May 2008 Harrison, J, Teachers bully other teachers warning, Teacher Support Network, 27 April 2011 Hubert, A.B. and van Veldhoven, M. (2001). ‘Risk sectors for undesirable behaviour and mobbing’. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 10: 415–424. Moore, R. (2000) For knowledge: tradition, progressivism and progress in education – reconstructing the curriculum debate, Cambridge Journal of Education, 30: 17-36. O’Moore, M., Seigne, E., McGuire, L. and Smith, M. (1998). ‘Victims of workplace bullying in Ireland’. The Irish Journal of Psychology, 19: 345–357. Young, M. F. D. (2008) Bringing Knowledge Back In: From social constructivism to social realism in the sociology of education, London: Routledge.
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