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Ragnarsdóttir, Guðrún; Jóhannesson, Ingólfur Ásgeir (2014)
Publisher: Education Inquiry
Journal: Education Inquiry
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: crisis, educational changes, decentralised curriculum implementation, job satisfaction, occupational stress and workload, upper secondary school teachers
Iceland was one of the first countries to collapse in the global financial crisis of 2008 and it followed the OECD suggestion by opening upper secondary schools for young jobseekers, but without increasing the number of teachers. The upper secondary school level is also in a period of educational change, as it is in many other countries nowadays. The experience of Iceland provides valuable lessons for the international community. The article explores the effect of the economic crisis and the proposition that the policy is imposing on the work, well-being and working conditions of upper secondary school teachers in Iceland. The findings are based on a quantitative data from three surveys on upper secondary school teachers. In total, 52% of registered teachers in the Association of Teachers in Upper Secondary Schools returned the completed questionnaire in 2008, 49% in 2010 and 57% in 2012. The findings reveal significantly longer working days, increased pressure, workload and stress among teachers at the school level following the crisis and implementation of the curriculum, lower job satisfaction and less opportunity to serve students with special educational needs. The analysis suggests a need to invest more in the upper secondary school level as well as to focus on the professional development and well-being of teachers to ensure further improvement to prevent burnout and occupational drop-out.Keywords: Crisis, educational changes, decentralised curriculum implementation, job satisfaction, occupational stress and workload, upper secondary school teachers(Published: 7 March 2014)Citation: Education Inquiry (EDUI) 2014, 5, 24045, http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/edui.v5.24045
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