Article review yukon territory

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Article review yukon territory

  1. 1. EDU 702 : Research MethodologyArticle Review: Teaching in the Yukon-Exploring teachers’ efficacy beliefs, stressand job satisfaction in a remote settingStudent name : Adibah Halilah bt. Abdul MutalibStudent ID : 2011587513Submission date : 5/19/2012
  2. 2. Summary How does a teacher perform when placed in locations far from their family andfriends? Will a teacher become more effective or will he or she find her job lessgratifying when put in remote areas? Also, will a teacher be able to integrate with acommunity different from her own? This article will look at the link between settingsand teachers‟ motivation beliefs; particularly providing us with answers on howteachers view their self- efficacy, as well as collective efficacy; job stress and jobsatisfaction when working in an isolated Canadian province such as Yukon Territory.The method employed in this research is a mixed-method study where the first stagerelies on a quantitative instrument modelled after a Teachers‟ Sense of EfficacyScale (TSES) survey. It was then followed by qualitative data collection, in the formof individual interviews to understand teachers‟ job beliefs. The result of the studyshows us that there was no significant difference between the Yukon Territory andurban western Canadian regions, for overall workload stress, student behaviourstress, nor job satisfaction. In fact it could be noted that when the two settings werecompared and rated for workload stress of larger class sizes, Yukon teachersreported less workload stress than urban western Canada. Despite that, the studyalso revealed slightly reduced levels of self and collective efficacy among Yukonteachers. For study 2, three main themes were identified, namely the influences ofphysical and human geography on job stress and job satisfaction, how jobsatisfaction can be acquired through community networking, understandingcultural transition when looking at teachers’ professional stress. Overall the study was well documented providing specific details of themethodology as well as results. This could prove helpful should a need arise for theresearch to be replicated. The study also provided a different take on teachers‟ jobbeliefs since it also delved into a qualitative method of research which is rarelyundertaken when studying motivation beliefs.Introduction The article in review is entitled “Teaching in the Yukon: Exploring teachers‟efficacy beliefs, stress and job satisfaction in a remote setting”. It is written by RobertM. Klassen, Rosemary Y. Foster, Sukaina Rajani and Carley Bowman. The articlehas been selected from an International Journal of Education research published in 2
  3. 3. the year 2009. The objective of the article is to evaluate whether teachers working inYukon, a predominantly secluded place in Canada, serves as a more stressful placeto teach for teachers as compared to teachers teaching in urban, Western Canada.The differences between the two groups were checked for teachers‟ self andcollective efficacy, job stress and job satisfaction. Another purpose of the study wasto collect information about how geographical and social issues may or may notaffect teachers‟ work. The implications and significance of a study like this is to betterunderstand the perceptions and views of teachers‟ workload, stress as well ascommunity roles and factors which influence stress leading to job satisfaction. Before the study was carried out, the article clearly defines severaloperational definitions and context of the study. The review includes the definition of„remote setting‟ as areas with a lack of amenities, professional development liketraining opportunities and specialized services for teachers. It also states that suchsetting is a place where stark differences in cultural backgrounds can be found.According to Mill & Gale, 2003, this could prove as a challenge for teachers whoshare different values and beliefs from mainstream school teachers. With respect to the location Yukon Territory was selected due to its uniquesetting. Bordering Alaska, there are only 32,000 residents in which there are only 28schools housing 5000 students between K-12. Based on Fraser Institute, 2009,Yukon Territory students show a markedly decreased academic performance ascompared to schools in urban Canada. Variables that were measured in this article are 2-folds; teachers‟ motivationbeliefs, i.e. teachers‟ self and collective efficacy beliefs, as well as teachers‟ stressand job satisfaction. It was pointed out however, that job satisfaction was adependant variable where self and collective efficacy and stress precede jobsatisfaction. The problem that is researched here is whether teachers in remotesettings such as Yukon Territory have different motivation beliefs than those in urbanCanadian provinces. The research problem thus can be broken down into three mainresearch questions, which are: to find out the relationship between Teacher efficacy beliefs, job stress and job satisfaction in Yukon Territory. 3
  4. 4. to explore the levels and relationship patterns between remote Yukon and urban western Canadian provinces. to discover the factors which influence job stress and job satisfaction?Literature Review The resources for the study were taken from articles dated between the years1995 to 2009. Definitions of motivation beliefs were divided into teachers‟ self andcollective efficacy beliefs and teacher stress and job satisfaction. From the literaturereview, Bandura‟s social cognitive theory, 1997 said that the former is influenced bystudent and teacher outcomes, where one’s efficacy can help handle students’behaviour and may in turn affect one’s job satisfaction. Another aspect of efficacy isto look at collective teacher efficacy, where it has been reported that better teacherand staff collaboration can influence student outcomes in challenging conditions. Itcan also be purported that based on previous research, teachers‟ stress is negativeemotions resulting from a teacher‟s work. It is understood that the higher the stress,the lower will be a teachers‟ self-efficacy. Nonetheless, the extent of previousstudies, have not ventured into the multi-faceted factors leading to stress. One suchfacet not yet fully explored is the setting of the teacher. The literature review is clear in presenting the definitions of the key variables.Yet, since the article does state that sources of stress is not based on a uni-factor,more details could be included on the types of stress attributed to workload andstudent misbehaviour. Are such stress factors different over the grade levels or dothey remain the same. One underlying factor that could have been better addressedis the types of school that usually reported higher levels of stress, and whetherissues like different grade levels , socio-economic status of students showed higheror lower teacher stress levels. A class teacher that is teaching an exam class willsurely have more stress level than a non- exam class. If such were the case, thesefactors could be controlled to provide better reliability of results, and should havebeen highlighted in the literature review. Another issue which perhaps needed to beaddressed is the demographics of the Aboriginal versus the European students inthe schools that were surveyed. Does the demographic of the student play a role inthe stress levels of students? Then again, such information may infringe upon ethical 4
  5. 5. practices, which was not divulged in this article. It was however stated in the articlethat ratio of male and female teachers, experience and even grade ranges weresimilar between the two groups including socio-economic status of students andtherefore these extranneous factors were controlled.Methodology The study was divided into two parts. The quantitative research which wasconducted in four visits over a period of two years in Yukon Territory. The surveydata was collected at teachers‟ conventions, which represented all 28 schools of theterritory. The 107-sample also contained both elementary and secondary schoolteachers and with different compositions of grade levels; 22 % (K-12) 30 % (K- 9)and 43 %( 7- 12). The sample in the comparison group came from varying suburbanschools in western Canada, and they also consisted of approximately 61% femaleteachers, with also 13.1 years experience. The sample size was not explicitly statedand the configurations of teaching levels were not mentioned. However it wasreported that there were no significant difference in sample age, experience inteaching and gender. Several assumptions on the other hand may have to be madeby the reader with respect to the grade configurations, and ethnicity of the teachers.It is mentioned in the Yukon Territory sample that a majority of the respondentstaught older school children which may mean different student behaviour challengesfrom younger school children. The comparison group could have taught youngerschool children, which may mean another array of stress issues. Since this was notaddressed, it is to be assumed that the varying grade levels do not result in varyingteachers stress levels. It was also mentioned that Yukon territory teachers were notpermitted to state their school or community due to request by authorities. This couldmean an acknowledgment on the part of the authorities that certain schools maythrive academically more than others school, and should not be divulged due toethical responsibilities. The implications of this show us that sample may not beequally represented in all schools. The method of collecting data from such groupwas thus the accessible population, and may not necessarily reflect the true targetpopulation. Another issue in the method of collecting data should have stated detailsof how teachers were employed. Is the placement of teachers in such remote areasa matter of choice or is it decided by a governing body- like the Ministry ofEducation? If so, this factor could have an impact on a teachers‟ job satisfaction, 5
  6. 6. since teachers could have felt forced to work in remote settings. Such sampleidentification was not specified in the study. The method of collecting data in Study 2 showed a stratified sampling methodwhere samples were selected based on teaching level, sex and geographicallocations. The interviewees were also willing participants who totalled 20 teachers invarious towns in the Yukon Territory. The ethnicities of the teachers however werenot disclosed. Even though a random method of sampling was utilized, sampleswere small, and therefore limit the population generalizability. Also everycharacteristic of the interviewees were not recorded completely which thus makes itless ecologically generalizable. Once such characteristic that could have beenlooked at is ethnicity of teachers, since representative of how other ethnicities mayview stress in different work settings could be an interesting angle to research.Findings and Analyses Teachers‟ self and collective efficacies were measured using a TSES scale,with a 12-item survey using a 9-point measure Likert scale;1= Disagree strongly,3=disagree, 5=neutral, 7=agree and 9=agree strongly. Such scale has providedreliable and valid results in previous studies since it has successfully transcendedcultural settings, thus being appropriate for this study. Thus reliability and validity ofthe TSES scale was highlighted as acceptable. Job stress and factors leading tostress were measured using 1 and 7 items respectively. Job satisfaction on the otherhand was represented using 4 items, with one specifically addressing location. Thedata collected produced a composite value, due to the small sample sizes and thestudy also included the reliability coefficient for both samples. It can be noted thatYukon sample displayed low reliability coeffiency at ( This would imply thatthere could be low reliability. Perhaps this could be because samples taken withmatching subgroups were perhaps too low. However, an ANOVA was carried out tocheck for significant difference against the dependant variable, job satisfaction andno significant difference was found, or too minimal a difference for data on self-efficacy, collective efficacy and stress from work load. In addition, this was justified because, a Fisher-Z transformation were appliedand showed no significant difference in correlation coefficients. Thus there was nobig difference between the two samples; in Yukon Territory and Western Canada. 6
  7. 7. Interestingly enough it could also be said that when job satisfaction was taken as thedependant variable and a correlation was seeked between job satisfaction andstress, efficacy beliefs; a Chow test revealed that there was also no directionality,which means that it is not pointing to precession of stress or efficacy beliefs asprecursors to job satisfaction. Furthermore, to test for statistical relialibility of theanalysis, a Direct regression logistic regression analysis was carried out to rule outincorrect identification of groups. The study successfully established groups thatwere high stress groups and low stress groups at 64.3% and 76.3 % respectively,making the results statistically sound. On the other hand, study 2 was collected via stratified sampling from a groupof participants that had stated their willingness to be interviewed. Although thesamples were carefully selected to ensure representativeness of the target group, itcan be argued that the sample of 20 was relatively small. This could be a strongargument against generalizing such a study. Characteristics of interview groupshowever were chosen to mirror different subgroups of Yukon teachers. Theinterview procedure included field notes, interview protocol, and non-staticconversations which were re-checked and monitored over a period of two years. Thisensured that the reoccurring themes and ideas could be properly validated . Thecontent analysis content was two stages, where the themes were coded usingcoded frequency check and also endorsement by the interviewee to verify what theyhad said. The three general overlapping themes were Theme 1: Physical and human geography influence job stress and job satisfaction Theme 2:Building connections with the community leads to teaching satisfaction Theme 3: Cultural transitions in the community leads to teacher‟s professional stress. 7
  8. 8. DiscussionOverall it can be said that this study can shed light on teachers‟ roles in small far-offcommunities and remote areas and how career decisions as well as teachermotivation can be promoted on a large scale. It is interesting to note that accordingto the quantitative findings the study showed no significant difference between thestress levels and motivation beliefs between teachers teaching in Yukon Territoryand Western Canada, although there were findings that showed a slightly lowersense of self and collective efficacy and workload stress among Yukon teachers.Also, when the qualitative data was collected to probe into the types of stress thataffected a teachers job stress and satisfaction, an intricate set of factors wererevealed. It proved that job stress and satisfaction were to a certain degree affectedby the community and setting in which teachers lived in and many issues were atplay when teachers were placed in remote settings. Some of the factors lie in theunique physical geography of Yukon. Since winters are long and daylight is limitedin, some teachers reported that it could have an immense psychological effect on aperson. The setting is also very far and removed from other parts of Canada, so thiscould impact one‟s professional development since training and resources werelimited. Additionally human geography is a major factor in locations which havelarger First Nation communities. Since First Nation communities were not necessarilycooperative to schools and accepting of European-Canadian culture, this mayreduce teachers‟ motivation and increase stress levels. This is especially so whentribal leaders and parents felt that the curriculum did not meet their communityneeds. Therefore, owing to this, an increase sense of isolation was felt amongteachers and an increase pressure was felt. Nonetheless, over time, when teachersgradually integrated into the community, reached out to the parents, a renewedsense of belonging developed. It was mentioned that it was important for teachers torespect the culture and views of the community in order to fully understand thepeople. 8
  9. 9. Comments On the whole I felt that the study could not conclusively state the factors thatinfluence Yukon teachers‟ self and collective efficacy although it was successful inproving that teachers regardless of their location, felt that workload stress goes handin hand with the teaching profession. The implications of the study are that the stressfactors and motivation beliefs of teachers in the Yukon are markedly different fromthe comparison group and also perceived differently by teachers. It would thusbenefit future studies to further explore these differences to possibly help in careerdecisions. The study doesn‟t indicate if there are immersion programmes that mayhelp teachers‟ to adjust to remote settings, and this could have been included in thestudy as ways and methods to counter teacher isolation issues. So in general, I believe this article can provide insight for teachers and schooladministrators alike on the placement of teachers in remote settings and how topossibly increase the morale of teachers placed in locations foreign to their own. Thegeneral benefits of the study can possibly be applied to remote settings in Malaysiatoo, since many teachers are also sent to rural villages to teach. Nevertheless, asmentioned earlier, the study is limited in its generalizability as the study only covereda small scope. The study definitely carries a lot of value and is well written. The method wasalso clear with very direct explanation of biasness, and limitations on the findings.Most of the threats to validity were also addressed in the article and I consider theissues to be covered in a detailed way. I would have liked to understand the differentfactors that affect teachers‟ job stress and satisfaction, and thus would like to haveseen suggestions and comments from the authors, on how to combat these issues.Perhaps a good approach would be to introduce teacher-training programmes andimmersion training. Without a definitive guide on how to overcome such stress, thestudy does remain completely objective, but somewhat leaves the reader asking therelevance of such a study. 9

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