Advertisement

Great Southern Lands: Making Space for Teacher Resilience in South Africa and Australia

  • Caroline F. MansfieldEmail author
  • Liesel Ebersöhn
  • Susan Beltman
  • Tilda Loots
Chapter

Abstract

Teacher resilience is an issue of international concern, yet few cross-national studies exist. This chapter examines teacher resilience in two postcolonial, economically disparate, Southern hemisphere contexts: South Africa and Australia. Data from studies in each country are examined to investigate the nature of risks and resources to support teacher resilience in each context. A conceptual model is developed to illustrate how the ecologies in these two countries differ with regard to the specific adversities teachers face, as well as protective resources available to teachers to buffer against such risk. Findings show that irrespective of context, certain teacher personal resources (optimism, perseverance, motivation) and adaptive coping strategies (relational support, problem-solving) remain similar across dissimilar contexts. In addition, whilst the broad origin of the risks was similar, how these were manifested differed in each context due to broader socio-economic conditions. Implications for further research, teacher preparation and professional development are discussed.

References

  1. Anderson, C., Klassen, R., & Georgiou, G. (2007). Inclusion in Australia: What teachers say they need and what school psychologists can offer. School Psychology International, 28(2), 131–147.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0143034307078086.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2012). National assessment program—literacy and numeracy report. Retrieved from http://www.nap.edu.au/verve/_resources/NAPLAN_2012_ National_Report.pdf.
  3. Australian Government Productivity Commission. (2012). Schools workforce: Research report. http://www.pc.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/116651/schools-workforce.pdf. Retrieved from http://www.pc.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/116651/schools-workforce.pdf.
  4. Beltman, S., Mansfield, C. F., & Price, A. (2011). Thriving not just surviving: A review of research on teacher resilience. Educational Research Review, 6(3), 185–207.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2011.09.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beltman, S., Mansfield, C. F., & Harris, A. (2015). Quietly sharing the load? The role of school psychologists in enabling teacher resilience. School Psychology International, 37(2), 172–188.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0143034315615939.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Brunetti, G. J. (2006). Resilience under fire: Perspectives on the work of experienced, inner city high school teachers in the United States. Teaching and Teacher Education, 22(7), 812–825.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2006.04.027.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cameron, M., & Lovett, S. (2014). Sustaining the commitment and realising the potential of highly promising teachers. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice 21(2), 150–163.  https://doi: 10.1080/13540602.2014.928132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Castro, A. J., Kelly, J., & Shih, M. (2010). Resilience strategies for new teachers in high-needs areas. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26(3), 622–629.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2009.09.010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chambers, R. (2008). Revolutions in development enquiry. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  11. Charmaz, K. (2005). Grounded theory in the 21st century: Applications for advancing social justice studies. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research (pp. 507–536). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  12. Commonwealth of Australia. (2008). Mental health in rural and remote communities. Retrieved from http://www.responseability.org/home/fact-sheets-and-podcasts/groups-at-increased-risk-of-mental-ill-health.
  13. Day, C. (2008). Committed for life? Variations in teachers’ work, lives and effectiveness. Journal of Educational Change, 9(3), 243–260.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10833-007-9054-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Day, C., & Gu, Q. (2007). Variations in the conditions for teachers’ professional learning and development: Sustaining commitment and effectiveness over a career. Oxford Review of Education – Special Issue, 33(4), 423–443. doi: 0.1080/03054980701450746.Google Scholar
  15. Day, C., & Gu, Q. (2014). Resilient teachers, resilient schools: Building and sustaining quality in testing times. Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Department of Education, Western Australia. (2012). Annual report 2011–2012. Retrieved from http://det.wa.edu.au/about/detcms/education/department- homepage/annual-report/department-of-education- annual-report-.en?oid=MultiPartArticle-id-13313350.
  17. Department of Education, Western Australia. (2013). Partnership schools. Government of Western Australia. Retrieved from http://det.wa.edu.au/partnershipschools/detcms/navigation/low-ses-school-communities/participating-schools/.
  18. Ebersöhn, L. (2012). Adding ‘flock’ to ‘fight and flight’: A honeycomb of resilience where supply of relationships meets demand for support. Journal of Psychology in Africa, 27(1), 29–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ebersöhn, L. (2014). Teacher resilience: Theorizing resilience and poverty. Teachers and Teaching, 20(5), 568–594.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13540602.2014.937960.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ebersöhn, L., & Eloff, I. (2006). Life skills and assets (2nd ed.). Pretoria: Van Schaik.Google Scholar
  21. Ebersöhn, L., Loots, T., Eloff, I., & Ferreira, R. (2015a). In-service teacher training to provide psychosocial support and care in high-risk and high-need schools: School-based intervention partnerships. Journal of Education for Teaching, 41(3), 267–284.  https://doi.org/10.1080/02607476.2015.1044226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ebersöhn, L., Loots, T., Eloff, I., & Ferreira, R. (2015b). Taking note of obstacles research partners negotiate in long-term higher education community engagement partnerships. Teaching and Teacher Education, 45, 59–72.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2014.09.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ee, J., & Chang, A. (2010). How resilient are our graduate trainee teachers in Singapore? The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 19(2), 321–331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Fantilli, R. D., & McDougall, D. E. (2009). A study of novice teachers: Challenges and supports in the first years. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25, 814–825.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ferreira, R., & Ebersöhn, L. (2012). Partnering for resilience. Pretoria: Van Schaik Publishers.Google Scholar
  26. Flores, M. A. (2006). Being a novice teacher in two different settings: Struggles, continuities, and discontinuities. Teachers College Record, 108(10), 2021–2052.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Folkman, S. (2011). Stress, health and coping: An overview. In S. Folkman (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of stress, health and coping (pp. 3–11). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Forgeard, M. J. C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2012). Seeing the glass half full: A review of the causes and consequences of optimism. Pratiques Psychologiques, 18(0), 107–120.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prps.2012.02.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Fraenkel, J. R., Wallen, N. E., & Hyun, H. H. (2012). How to design and evaluate research in education. Boston: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  30. Gardiner, M. (2008). Education in rural areas. In Issues in educational policy number 4. Johannesburg: Centre for Education Policy Development.Google Scholar
  31. Goddard, J., & Foster, R. (2001). The experiences of neophyte teachers: A critical constructivist assessment. Teaching and Teacher Education, 17, 349–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Gu, Q. (2014). The role of relational resilience in teachers’ career-long commitment and effectiveness. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 20(5), 502–529.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13540602.2014.937961.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Gu, Q., & Day, C. (2013). Challenges to teacher resilience: Conditions count. British Educational Research Journal, 39(1), 22–44.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01411926.2011.623152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Harris, A. (2014). Teacher resilience in challenging primary schools located in low SES suburbs, (Bachelor of Education (Honours)). Perth: Curtin University.Google Scholar
  35. Hong, J. Y. (2012). Why do some beginning teachers leave the school, and others stay? Understanding teacher resilience through psychological lenses. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 18(4), 417–440.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13540602.2012.696044.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Huisman, S., Singer, N. R., & Catapano, S. (2010). Resiliency to success: Supporting novice urban teachers. Teacher Development: An International Journal of Teachers’ Professional Development, 14(4), 483–499.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13664530.2010.533490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Johnson, B., Down, B., Le Cornu, R., Peters, J., Sullivan, A., Pearce, J., & Hunter, J. (2014). Promoting early career teacher resilience: A framework for understanding and acting. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 20(5), 530–546.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13540602.2014.937957.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kitching, K., Morgan, M., & O’Leary, M. (2009). It’s the little things: Exploring the importance of commonplace events for early-career teachers’ motivation. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 15(1), 43–58.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13540600802661311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Le Cornu, R. (2013). Building early career teacher resilience: The role of relationships. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 38(4), 1–16.  https://doi.org/10.14221/ajte.2013v38n4.4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Mansfield, C. F., Beltman, S., Price, A., & McConney, A. (2012). “Don’t sweat the small stuff:” Understanding teacher resilience at the chalkface. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28, 357–367.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2011.11.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Mansfield, C. F., Beltman, S., & Price, A. (2014). ‘I’m coming back again!’ The resilience process of early career teachers. Teachers and Teaching, 20(5), 547–567.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13540602.2014.937958.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Mansfield, C. F., Beltman, S., Broadley, T., & Weatherby-Fell, N. (2016). Building resilience in teacher education: An evidenced informed framework. Teaching and Teacher Education, 54, 77–87.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2015.11.016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Masten, A. S. (2014). Ordinary magic: Resilience in development. New York: The Guildford Press.Google Scholar
  44. Masten, A. S., & Wright, M. O.’. D. (2010). Resilience over the lifespan: Developmental perspectives on resistance, recovery and transformation. In J. W. Reich, A. J. Zautra, & J. Stuart Hall (Eds.), Handbook of adult resilience (pp. 213–236). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  45. McKenzie, P., Rowley, G., Weldon, P., Murphy, M. (2011). Staff in Australia’s schools 2010: Main report on the survey. Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).Google Scholar
  46. Meister, D. G., & Ahrens, P. (2011). Resisting plateauing: Four veteran teachers’ stories. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27(4), 770–778.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2011.01.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Morgan, M. (2011). Resilience and recurring adverse events: Testing an assets-based model of beginning teachers’ experiences. The Irish Journal of Psychology, 32(3–4), 92–104.  https://doi.org/10.1080/03033910.2011.613189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Morgan, M., Ludlow, L., Kitching, K., O’Leary, M., & Clarke, A. (2010). What makes teachers tick? Sustaining events in new teachers’ lives. British Educational Research Journal, 36(2), 191–208.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01411920902780972.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. OECD. (2014). Education at a Glance 2014: OECD indicators. OECD Publishing.  https://doi.org/10.1787/eag-2014-en Retrieved from www.oecd.org/edu/Education-at-a-Glance-2014.pdf.
  50. Olsen, B., & Anderson, L. (2007). Courses of action: A qualitative investigation into urban teacher retention and career development. Urban Education, 42(1), 5–29.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0042085906293923.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Papatraianou, L. H., & Le Cornu, R. (2014). Problematising the role of personal and professional relationships in early career teacher resilience. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 39(1), 100–116.  https://doi.org/10.14221/ajte.2014v39n1.7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Peters, J., & Pearce, J. (2012). Relationships and early career teacher resilience: A role for school principals. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 18(2), 249–262.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13540602.2012.632266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Pooley, J. A., & Cohen, L. (2010). Resilience: A definition in context. The Australian Community Psychologist, 22(1), 30–37.Google Scholar
  54. Sharplin, E., O’Neill, M., & Chapman, A. (2011). Coping strategies for adaptation to new teacher appointments: Intervention for retention. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27, 136–146.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2010.07.010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Shawab, K. (Ed.). (2014). The global competitiveness report 2015–2015. Full data edition. Geneva: World Economic Forum.Google Scholar
  56. Tait, M. (2008). Resilience as a contributor to novice teacher success, commitment, and retention. Teacher Education Quarterly, 35(4), 57–76.Google Scholar
  57. Theron, L. C. (2018). Teacher championship of resilience: Lessons from the pathways to resilience study, South Africa. In M. Wosnitza, F. Peixoto, S. Beltman, & C. F. Mansfield (Eds.), Resilience in education: Concepts, contexts and connections (pp. 203–217). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  58. Ungar, M. (Ed.). (2012). The social ecology of resilience: A handbook of theory and practice. New York: Springer.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caroline F. Mansfield
    • 1
    Email author
  • Liesel Ebersöhn
    • 2
  • Susan Beltman
    • 3
  • Tilda Loots
    • 2
  1. 1.School of EducationMurdoch UniversityPerthAustralia
  2. 2.University of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa
  3. 3.School of EducationCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia

Personalised recommendations