Are teachers burdened by collaboration? A view on different collaboration groups and their perceived stress

Magdalena Muckenthaler, Teresa Tillmann, Sabine Weiß, Andreas Hillert, Ewald Kiel

Abstract


The presented study identified groups of teachers based on different forms of collaboration teachers use. The groups were compared with regard to school-related conditions of collaboration and teachers’ perceived stress. Existing research findings show positive effects of collaboration on the individual school, students and teaching staff. Concurrently, especially complex forms, such as construction, are realised less in teachers’ everyday work. Teacher groups were identified using a hierarchical cluster analysis, and the revealed clusters were optimised by k-means clustering. Three different clusters on collaboration were extracted. The first cluster used all forms of collaboration most intensive, stressed the most positive view on school-related conditions (time and compulsion to collaborate) and stated the lowest stress experience. The third group is contrary to the first one: teachers implemented all form of collaboration to the lowest extent and estimated both conditions and stress experience most unfavourable. The second cluster used forms of exchange, but more complex forms basing on common work organisation were less implemented; stress experience was in the middle range. Teachers implementing complex forms to the greatest extent showed the lowest stress. In addition, compulsion to collaborate did not result in (more intensive or successful) collaboration. The findings were discussed with regard to the divergence of importance and actual implementation of collaboration as well implications on collaborative work and structural conditions.

Keywords


Collaboration; Collective work organization; Stress experience; Teachers

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Journal for Educational Research Online/Journal für Bildungsforschung Online (ISSN 1866-6671)