TEACHERS IN TRANSITION: STUDY OF AN AGING TEACHING FORCE
John P. Miller, Gilbert Taylor and Karen Walker.
Volume 11 Number 5.
This study was undertaken to examine how teachers experience the stages of adult development. One aspect of the study compares the research on teachers with general research on adult development. Another aspect focuses on the effects of school systems having stable, aging teaching staff as a result of declining enrolments.
The works of Daniel Levinson and of Gail Sheehy provided the model for general research on the stages of development. The authors interviewed thirty men and twenty-six women volunteers from one school board. Most of the book consists of quotations from the interviews. As well, approximately six hundred questionnaires were distributed to elementary and secondary teachers asking them to rate the degree of satisfaction with their teaching careers. A copy of the survey is included in the appendix.
The scope of the study is indicated in the following chapter headings: "The Twenties and Early Thirties: Frustration and Commitment," "Late Thirties and Early Forties: Questioning and Crossover," and "Late Forties and Fifties: Towards Fulfilment."
The last chapter, "Summary and Discussion," is interesting and enlightening. It points out the implications of the findings for principals and people in leadership positions and concludes with the following suggested solution to the problem of an aging teaching force: "the research indicates adults seek wholeness... It could be argued that this search for wholeness will have a positive impact on children. If we as adults experience our life as fragmented, then this fragmentation will affect the students. However, if teachers can be encouraged by boards in their search for wholeness through leaves, mentoring, affirmative action, then they should be more able to confront realistically the negative effects of declining enrolment in school systems."
Recommended reading for teachers, school administrators, and staff development personnel.
Anna L. Holman, Faculty of Education, University of Western Ontario, London, ON.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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