Teachers' perceptions of job resources
This study explored teachers’ perceptions of their job resources, how they are constructed under perceived change demands and the perceived influence of participants’ school contexts. A mixed-methods research design was followed. It consisted of a pilot-study, a survey and two rounds of semi-structured interviews in a convenience sample of secondary school teachers that were employed in schools located in a region of the Midlands in UK from June 2010 till July 2013.\ud \ud Based on Demerouti et al.’s (2001) generic definition of job resources, six aspects of participants’ perceptions of Job resources were addressed:\ud a) teachers’ perceptions of their schools as learning organisations,\ud b) teachers’ perceptions of their school activities/arrangements,\ud c) teachers’ perceptions of Job resources and their Positive Psychological capital,\ud d) teachers’ perceptions of their sources of engagement support,\ud e) teachers’ perceptions of available sources of support, and\ud f) teachers’ perceptions of the influence of their school contexts’ on their perceived sources of support.\ud \ud This thesis will present a literature review of key areas in relation to the study’s research questions and methodological issues regarding its research design. It will discuss each aspect of teachers’ perceptions of job resources in relation to relevant literature and it will show how the findings answered the research questions, present the study’s limitations and contribution to the field.\ud \ud Overall, the study’s findings are in accordance to psychological and educational research in teachers’ perceptions of sources of support in their work-environment. In particular, the surveys’ and interviews’ analyses showed that those sources of support mainly involve teachers’ perceptions of their relationships with their colleagues and leadership as well as their perceptions of their participation in decision-making committees and their perceived influence in any developments in their schools.\ud \ud The contribution of this study is that it focuses on what individual teachers perceive as most important for them. This is important as it can highlight what sources of support may best meet the needs of individual teachers. This became especially evident through the analysis of interviewees’ responses about what supported them when they faced a change in their careers.\ud \ud Most importantly the present study showed the complexity of adopting a holistic approach towards teachers’ job resources. For example, participants in both surveys and participants in the first round of interviews focused on non-work related aspects of their lives to describe what supports their engagement in their work. On the other hand, in the second round of interviews, where the focus was on the perceived influence of participants’ school contexts on teachers’ perceptions, such descriptions did not occur. Finally, the use of both surveys and interviews to explore teachers’ perceptions of job resources allowed both targeting specific factors in teachers’ work-environment, as well as letting individuals reflect on them.
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