Economic Crisis and Educational Reforms: How Burnout affects Teachers' Physical, Mental, and Oral Health?
Keywords:Teachers work, Teachers’ Burnout, Human costs of Neoliberal educational policies, Technical Vocational Education. Greek education, Quantitative research.
In July 2013, for the first time in the Greek civil sector, a legal measure suspending labour, was applied overnight on Greek Secondary Education teachers. More than 2,200 secondary school teachers were affected. This so-called “reform effort” impacted on 23,000 students, through abolishing 52 Technical Education specialties. The majority (80%) of affected secondary school teachers were placed on suspension, while 20% underwent obligatorily transfers to administrative positions through the application of a government dictated “social criteria”.
This research that took place from 2013 till 2017, investigated the burnout experienced both by teachers who were suspended and by those who were compulsorily transferred to administration duties. The Maslach Burnout Inventory measurements recorded the highest percentages on this scale, in its history of application to Greek teachers. The factors of work stress were studied with respect to both separate categories of teacher (suspended – compulsorily transferred) and a comparative study was then conducted between them. Psychopathological symptoms (utilising the SCL-90 Psychopathology scale) were observed in both categories of teacher, due to work-related stress, with results from both the General Symptom Index and the Positive Symptom Disorder Index (PTSD) indicating pathological responses. With respect to both categories, the appearance and deterioration of physical health problems that are normally associated with chronic stress was also recorded, and a general deterioration in physical health was also evidenced. The significance of this research is that the findings are indicative of the total effects of burnout, that correlate psychological and health issues. By creating the tools for this, it can open future further investigations on the impact of educational policies on teachers.
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