Student Teachers’ Stress and Social Problem Solving Skills Presented by : Cameron Montgomery Faculté Saint-Jean, University of Alberta
Plan n Introduction n Theoretical model n Article 1 n Article 2 n Article 3 n General Conclusion n Limits n Future Research Avenues
Introduction n 50% “very stressed” at work. n More than 2/3 experience health problems. n New teacher training programs.
Introduction n A high level of stress : - psychological distress - shortcomings in social problem solving skills (a.k.a. “coping”) - professional exhaustion - suicide amongst teachers.
Introduction n At Laval University : -females (primary education) -4 year undergraduate program -student teaching (4 in all).
Introduction n Psychological stress and social problem solving skills among interns is prominent. n This thesis aimed at finding future research avenues.
Introduction ( Our Definition of Stress) n Stress stems from Lazarus (1966). n Three main sources : –1) Personality Mediators (time pressure, driven behaviour, attitude posture, relaxation potential, role definition). –2) Environment (vocational satisfaction, domestic satisfaction, health posture). –3) Emotional Response (hostility, anxiety, depression).
Introduction ( Definition of Stress) n Lazarus and Folkman (1984) : n Primary appraisal: events may be seen as more or less stressful. n Depending on the individual and the situation, a problematic social event may be seen unharmful, while for others it may seen as being very stressful.
Introduction ( Definition of Stress) n Secondary appraisal (cognitive appraisal): appraisal of personal resources and environmental resources to cope with loss, threat, and challenges.
Introduction ( Definition of Stress) n The model predicts that when faced with a social problem, an individual will put into place strategies that are both cognitive and adaptive behaviours that the author qualifies as “coping.”
Introduction ( Definition of Social Problem Solving Skills = spss) n Social problem solving skills are a conscious and rational activity being a part of “coping” and requiring certain efforts and objectives.
Introduction ( Definition of spss) n Two specific behaviours: social problem solving skills and problem orientation.
Figure 1 : Conceptual model of stress and social problem solving skills among elementary and secondary teaching student teachers. (Cameron Montgomery and Nérée Bujold, June, 1999). Conceptual Model Student Supervisors CFP, EA) Pupils Stress Age Sex Professional experience Previous academic results Personality Personal way of handling social problem solving skills INTRANTS Practical training EXTRANTS Student Supervisors (CFP, EA) Pupils ---------------------------- Method of social problem solving skills Stress Academic results Group dimensionsSubject matter School culture Field of study Environment PROCESS
Article 1 (Research questions) Q1: What is the current state of knowledge on stress in student teaching ? Q2: What is the current state of knowledge on social problem solving skills in student teaching? Q3: What is the current state of knowledge on the link between stress and social problem solving skills in student teaching?
Results : Primary appraisal of stress (appraisal of the event) n New programs in the field of teacher training. n Heterogeneity. n Training period.
Article 1, Results : Primary appraisal of stress (appraisal of the event) n Other stressful elements : -the teacher -the school. -the student.
Article 1, Results : Secondary appraisal of stress (appraisal of personal and environmental resources) n The sources of stress have changed (i.e. Fuller, 1969).
Article 1, Results : Secondary appraisal of stress (appraisal of personal and environmental resources) n Stressful elements : n -school, n -the ability for relationships, n -the personal and professional requirements.
Article 1, Results ( Coping strategies) n Interns use confrontational strategies whenever they are faced with stress related to the students. n Disciplinary strategies : -behavioural modification, -removing student from class, -place blame on the student, -discuss the problem at hand.
Article 1, Results ( spss in connection with stress) n Overly stressed individuals need: -more time needed to complete tasks -to see final results earlier. n Stressed individuals : -think in negative terms, -lack confidence in themselves, -tend to sidestep the problems, -have a tendency of avoiding their social problems.
Article 1, Conclusion n A review of the literature : -an absence of longitudinal studies on the two themes in question.
Article 2 n Research Questions n Methods n Results n Conclusion
Article 2, Research questions –Q1: What are the psychometric characteristics of the stress questionnaire among student teachers ? –Q2: What are the psychometric characteristics of the social problem solving skills’ questionnaire among student teachers ?
Article 2, Results n SPSS = 2 factors : 1. Social Problem Solving Skills 2. Problem Orientation.
Article 2, Results n Correlation between stress and social problem solving skills : - Social Problem Solving Skills and Problem Orientation ( r =.432 ). - Significant and positive linear relations between the 3 dimensions of stress taken 2 by 2: Personality Mediators and Environmental Stress ( r =.458 ) ; Environmental Stress and Emotional Response ( r =.550 ) ; Personality Mediators and Emotional Response ( r =.625 ).
Article 2, Results n Each of the 2 dimensions in the questionnaires of s.p.s.s. has a negative linear relation with each of the three dimensions in the questionnaire related to stress. n A high level of stress is associated with a low level of social problem solving skills whereas a low level of stress is associated with a high level in social problem solving skills.
Article 2, Conclusion n We have highlighted the fact that we possess instruments that are sufficiently reliable and valid to pursue our research. n The multidimensional stress instrument translated in French and the two- dimensional French questionnaire on s.p.s.s. appears to be promising for future studies in a student teacher training population.
Article 3 n Research questions n Methods n Results n Discussion
Article 3, Research Questions –Q1: What is the relationship between Student Teaching and the level of Stress in student teachers? –Q2: What is the relationship between Student Teaching and Social Problem Solving Skills in student teachers? –Q3: To what extent are changes in Social Problem Solving Skills related to changes in Stress levels in student teachers?
Methods (subjects) n N=117 in 1999 and in 2000. n 93 % of women and no foreign students were part of the two groups. n Majority of these students were between 19 & 25 years of age.
Methods (instruments) n Stress = Derogatis questionnaire (DSP®, 1987). n Social Problem Solving Skills = Dugas, Freeston and Ladouceur questionnaire (1996).
Results n Regarding the first research question concerning the relationship between Student Teaching and the level of Stress in student teachers, we compared means of the pre-test with those of the post-test. n No significant results were found at the level (p <.005).
Article 3, Results n Regarding the second research question concerning the relationship between Student Teaching and Social Problem Solving Skills, we compared means of the pre-test with those of the post-test. n No significant results were found (p <.005).
Article 3, Results n Our last research question attempted to measure to what extent changes in social problem solving skills are associated with changes in stress level. n The correlation between the changes in social problem solving skills and the changes in the level of stress clearly indicate that the correlation between these two changes is significant and negative (-.361, p <.003).
Article 3, Results n Secondly, in order to better understand the relationship between stress and social problem solving skills, we considered the correlation between the changes in the all of the questionnaires’ dimensions and sub- scales (Emotional Response, Problem Orientation etc).
Article 3, Results n There is only one significant correlation (p <.001) between Problem Orientation and Emotional Response.
Article 3, Results In terms of the sub-scales, there are 5 significant correlations (p <.001): n First : Relaxation Potential (leaving work behind) and Generating Alternative Solutions of the SPSS questionnaire. n Second : Anxiety of the DSP questionnaire and Cognition.
Article 3, Results Third : Depression in the DSP® questionnaire and Cognition of the SPSS questionnaire. n Fourth : Anxiety in the DSP® questionnaire and Emotion of the SPSS questionnaire n Fifth : Depression in the DSP® questionnaire and Emotion of the SPSS questionnaire.
Article 3, Discussion n Neither the level of stress nor social problem solving skills increased significantly over the course of student teaching. n The results suggest that more student teachers improved their social problem solving skills over the course of student teaching, less their stress levels increased.
Article 3, Discussion n Our correlations allow us to believe that certain training activities related to social problem solving, such as a more proactive approach in dealing with problems, developing alternative solutions, a better comprehension of the cognitive and emotional aspects inherent in social problems can prove to be useful in reducing stress level in primary student teachers.
Article 3, Discussion n More one instructs student teachers to manage their emotional stress, develop alternative solutions, determine the origin of their problems, and freely express their emotions, the more they will be able to overcome their depression and anxieties further reducing their stress in relation to these aspects during student teaching.
Article 3, Discussion n In other words, in teaching student teachers different forms of social problem solving skills “focusing on the problem,” one can help to control certain stressful situations. n Students need to learn to be more responsible and avoid repression. n It would be interesting to examine a future model to better understand these interactions.
General Conclusion n The literature review in the first theoretical article enabled us to orientate our research. n Longitudinal studies on the themes of stress and social problem solving skills need to be done. n This should include a quantitative approach as well as a qualitative approach which could provide valuable information for teacher trainers and for the student teachers
General Conclusion n From now on we dispose of valid instruments that are reliable for future research.
General Conclusion n We determined that neither stress nor social problem solving skills increase in any significant manner over the course of student teaching. n The more student teachers improve social problem solving skills the less their stress increases.
General Conclusion n If some student teachers increased their social problem solving skills and the general average did not increase, this means that some student teachers became less competent.
Research Limits n Psychological nature. n Lack of research on the relationship between stress and social problem solving skills in the field of teacher training n No research grant : -high number of questions -a refusal to participate in post-test -certain sub-scales have a weak internal consistency (*** confirmation=15 items) -no control group.
Research Avenues n A control group and an experimental group. n Follow the research with a student population and a professional (adult) population (verify sub-scales). n Combine 2 different scientific approaches. n A longitudinal study.