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Conflicts starting to teach: Beginning teachers coping with emotionally challenging situations
Linköping University.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3215-7411
Karolinska Institutet och KTH Royal Institute of Technology.
Karolinska Intitutet.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9233-3862
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Beginning teachers face complicated socialization processes, affected by micro-political contexts. Starting to teach may entail conflicts, rivalry, competition, as well as alliances and collaboration with colleagues and other staff of a school. Beginning teachers need to understand the social setting where they start their career. The aim of the study was to use the narratives of beginning teachers to investigate the emotionally challenging situations they face, with a focus on how their perspectives and definitions of these situations guided their actions and made coping possible. Since we were interested in the perspectives of the participants, and their definition of the situation, we adopted a symbolic interactionism as theoretical framework. In order to investigate the actions and processes involved constructivist grounded theory (GT) methodology was used. We used GT tools of coding, memo-writing and constant comparison as flexible guidelines, and not as a linear mechanical process. 25 participants took part in the study, which comprise of 68 written self-reports as well as 20 semi-structured interviews. Seven of the participants were male, seventeen were female and one identified as non-binary. Their ages spanned from 22 to 56 (M=28) years old and they were recruited from six teacher-training programmes in Sweden through e-mail contact. All interviews were conducted after the beginning teachers were at the end of their first year of teaching. The beginning teachers experienced conflicts when meeting a micro-political arena starting to teach. The conflicts were either interpersonal or intrapersonal. The interpersonal conflicts were related to teaching methods when it came to colleagues, distrust among colleagues and from parents, as well as conflicts in the student-teacher interaction. Intrapersonal conflicts involved feelings of being “good enough”, having to set limitations to time and engagement, as well as suppression of emotions. To cope with the conflicts beginning teachers had strategies related to being a part of the micro-political context of a school. When doing so, strategies of autonomy, influencing, collaboration and conformity was adopted. There was a reciprocal relationship between being autonomous and using an influencing strategy, as well as between collaboration and conformity. Sometimes, if the person using an influencing strategy found the right ally it could also lead to collaboration among the parts to amend, tolerate or alter the problem with the conflicts. The use of a certain coping strategy is likely to have an affect on turnover or attrition intentions among the participants, as the analysis revealed that the beginning teachers who adopted an influencing or autonomous coping strategy were more likely to talk about changing workplace or school. The reported research is relevant to Nordic Educational Research since it addresses beginning teachers coping with emotionally challenging situations starting to teach, and could involve issues valuable to teacher education. We hope this might be of use in the discussion about beginning teachers attrition and turnover intentions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-154973OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-154973DiVA, id: diva2:1294517
Conference
47th Congress of the Nordic Educational Research Association (NERA
Available from: 2019-03-07 Created: 2019-03-07 Last updated: 2019-03-07

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Lindqvist, HenrikThornberg, Robert
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Linköping UniversityEducation, Teaching and LearningFaculty of Educational Sciences
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf