Learning to manage workplace stress as practiced by teachers at three under-resourced Western Cape High Schools
Ahrendse, Godfrey Charles Franklin John
MetadataShow full item record
The focus of the study is the teacher in the under-resourced schools in the townships of the Western Cape. The purpose is to discover how teachers learn to cope under adverse working conditions. In a systematic way, we try to uncover what workplace stress is, how it is defined and manifests itself. It also deals with the specific reasons why teachers in South Africa, and especially in poorer schools on the Cape Flats, suffer such heavy stress. A convenient way to examine issues of stress was to approach it from different angles or levels: the classroom level, the staff/relationship level, the organizational level and the Departmental (Governmental) level. At these levels the causes, manifestations and solutions to workplace stress were researched. A qualitative study was done to ascertain first hand from the experiences of affected teachers themselves, how they learnt to cope, how this learning came about and what the specific methods or strategies are which they employ to deal effectively with stress. The study concludes with a general summary of the most salient coping strategies that seem to work for most teachers. Recommendations to address stress at the four levels mentioned are finally made.