Under Pressure: Stress in Early Career Teachers in the Netherlands A qualitative research using System Dynamics to analyse the systemic structure of stress

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In the Netherlands, there is shortage of teachers. Two reasons for this shortage are that there is too little inflow of early career teachers (ECTs) and a high attrition rate. In previous research, stress has been linked to (teacher) attrition. Especially ECTs are more vulnerable to such pressures. This thesis investigates the interrelationships between key variables influencing the stress of ECTs. Using System Dynamics, a causal loop diagram (CLD) was made based on a literature study. This model was validated using disconfirmatory interviews (n=5). Interviewees were asked to create a model, which was used as a boundary object. Changes were made to the CLD based on the disconfirmatory interviews and the boundary objects. In the final CLD, there are six feedback loops, five reinforcing and one balancing. Important variables in these feedback loops are stress, workload, personal characteristics, self-efficacy, the relation between teacher and student, professional identity tensions, and the professional identity. One important finding was that that stress does not have a direct relation to attrition. Stress is an indirect cause of the doubts ECTs have regarding their future. These findings have the potential to analyse the effectiveness of possible solutions for ECT stress and their possible attrition.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen