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COMPLETE PROJECT-EFFECT OF STRESS ON THE TEACHING PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHERS

COMPLETE PROJECT-EFFECT OF STRESS ON THE TEACHING PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHERS

 

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Teaching is perceived as the oldest and the noblest of all professions. Teaching is any activity or set of activities with the sole intention of bringing about learning. Akindutire (2001) posited that teaching are those actions by the teacher and the learner that make learning successful than it would have been without such teaching. According to Adiotomre & Adams (2005), the teacher in any school system is alongside the principal responsible for the day-to-day running of the school as well as the enhancement and promotion of quality education. The authors argued that the quality and effectiveness of every education system anywhere in the world is dependent on the competences, effectiveness, efficiency and devotion of the teaching force. The extent to which the objectives of teaching are achieved determines teaching effectiveness. This is why every good teacher ensures that the objectives of teaching are achieved at the end of his teaching. However, it appears that teachers have not been effective in Ekiti state in the recent time. A lot of factors have been adduced for the ineffectiveness of teachers in the state but the most prominent appears to be the stress experienced by the teachers. Teachers’ job is fast becoming more stressful in recent times, and this tends to affect the level of teaching effectiveness.

Selye (1978) defines stress as any external events or internal drive which threatens to upset the organismic equilibrium. Akhlaq, Amjad, Mehmood, Hussan and Malik (2010) posited that stress is a psycho-physiological process, which results from the interaction of the individual with the environment and results in disturbances caused to the physiological, psychological and social systems, depending upon individual characteristics and psychological processes. This stress comes from various aspects of life including developmental and social changes, financial and accommodation problems, work demands, and the specific demands of academia (Busari, 2011). Murphy (1995) submitted that stress can be the result of any number of situations in the workplace. The author illustrated the following as categories of workplace stressors: (1) unique to the job include workload; meaningfulness of work; hours of work; physical environment; isolation at the workplace. (2) Role in organization which include: role conflict; role ambiguity; responsibility for staff; conflicts occurring due to ill-defined organizational boundaries. (3) Career development; over promotion; under promotion; lack of job security; thwarted ambitions. 4) Relationship at work; poor relations with boss, subordinates, or colleagues; difficulties in delegation, threat of violence, harassment. (5) Organizational structure and climate which include: participation or non-participation in decision making; management style and communications patterns. Stress has been shown to be either directly or indirectly responsible for early and untimely deaths through heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and a multitude of other stress-related illness. Stress is proven beyond doubt to make people ill, and evidence is increasing as to number of ailments and diseases caused by stress. Stress is known to contribute to heart diseases; it causes hypertension and high blood pressure, and impairs the immune system. Stress is also linked to strokes, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), ulcers, diabetes, muscle and joint pain, miscarriage during pregnancy, allergies, alopecia and even pre-mature tooth loss.

A summary analysis of the current situation in education permits the identification of some of the social and organizational factors that constitute sources of stress and burnout: The combination of changes in society and the educational system itself has led to a growing complexity of the teacher’s role and has increased the demands of the school environment. Paradoxically, these growing demands are accompanied by a devaluation of, and a reduction in support for, the school system, which in turn leads to severe occupational dissatisfaction (working conditions) and health problems among the teaching staff. In general terms, burnout in the teaching profession, results from the imbalance between the demands of the profession and the rewards received, perceived self-efficacy in the achievement of this objective, observing progress in students, receiving recognition from others, among other factors.

The teaching profession also involves some aggravating factors which contribute to exacerbating burnout problems among teachers: there is constant personal contact and interaction with students; teachers need to be experts, to display patience and sensitivity and to be useful; their work is constantly open to scrutiny and evaluation by a variety of people; they work with people who may not wish to work with them or to benefit from their efforts; salaries tend to be lower than those in 14 comparable jobs; and teachers’ expectations of different aspects of their work, such as its perceived value and student motivation often exceed reality.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Workload meant the amount of work that has to be done by a particular person or organization (Mbunda, 2006). In this study, the factors that add teachers’ workload were examined. They include number of periods taught by one teacher per week, construction and marking of internal tests, making load and administrative roles. According to Kyriacou (2001), the sources of stress experienced by a particular teacher will, of course, be unique to him or her and will depend on the precise complex interaction between his or her personality, values, skills, and circumstances. Moreover, coping mechanisms, personality traits, or the environment can interactively influence the degree to which stressful situations are being perceived, and influence the teacher’s emotional and cognitive well-being. The syndrome of burnout and stress at work refers to a combination of emotions, physical symptoms and behaviors that develop as a consequence of the conditions and characteristics of the so-called helping professions (Ben-Zur & Yagil, 2005. Although stress always involves a transaction between the individual and their environment for heuristic purposes, causal factors in teacher stress can be divided into three broad areas; factors intrinsic to teaching, cognitive factors affecting the individual vulnerability of teachers and systemic factors operate at the institutional and political level. Systemic denotes a broad cluster of organizational factors that are not intrinsic to the nature of teaching, but rather dependent on the climate of the educational institution or the wider context of education, including the political domain.

The background provides an overview of what entails stress and burnout among the teachers. However it does not provide categorically the causes of the stress among teachers in Secondary Schools. It is against this background that the study is set to find out the causes and of stress among the Secondary Schools.

1.3     OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The main objective of the study will be to find the effect of stress on the teaching performance of secondary school teachers, specifically the study intends to:

1.     To find out the contribution of cognitive factors in causing stress among teachers in Secondary Schools

2.     To determine the extent to which  stress affects the performance of teachers in Secondary Schools

3.     To establish whether systemic (organizational) factors within the school setup enhance stress among teachers in Secondary Schools.

4.     To proffer solution to the problem of excess stress among the teachers

1.4     RESEARCH QUESTIONS

1.     What are the contribution of cognitive factors in causing stress among teachers in Secondary Schools?

2.     To what extent does stress affects the performance of teachers in secondsry schools

3.     Does the organizational factors within the school setup enhance stress among teachers in secondary schools

4.     What solution can be proffered to the problem of excess stress among the secondary school teachers?

1.5     RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

Ho: there is no significant effects of stress on the teaching performance of secondary school teachers

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