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Title: Job sharing : the career experiences of women primary teachers
Authors: McDaid, Carolyne
Issue Date: 1998
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: This study is an investigation of the career experiences of women primary teachers who job share. It explores how job sharing fits into overall working patterns and examines whether it fulfils the personal and professional needs of teachers. It investigates how successful job sharing is seen as being in practice and explores the potential advantages and disadvantages of job sharing for teachers and for schools. The study examines the claims made for job sharing as a means of advancing the cause of equality in the workplace. Data were gathered through in-depth interviews with twenty women primary teachers who job shared. The role of job sharing in their careers was examined and the extent to which it satisfied personal and professional expectations explored. The career experiences of job sharing teachers were further investigated through a questionnaire sent to a sample of teachers who had previously job shared. This provided a retrospective and longer term account. All of these experiences were then situated within the wider contexts in which teaching operates. For this, documentary and policy analysis were undertaken, and semistructured interviews were conducted with headteachers and parents, and key informants at local and national level. The research found that job sharing is successful in meeting the personal needs of the women primary teachers. Teachers spoke of the balance in their lives which this working arrangement helped them to achieve. In terms of the professional dimension, the study found that experiences of job sharing in practice were positive. For teachers the affective rewards of being with children and feeling competent and skilled in daily work were high. Feelings of acceptance within the workplace culture were positive; building and sustaining relationships with parents and, in particular, with colleagues, which was viewed as a salient part of the job of primary teaching, was possible whilst job sharing. As a result, schools were seen to be gaining by employing experienced and motivated individuals who were able to make positive contributions. However, some difficulties were found with the professional and career development of job sharing teachers. The study concludes that job sharing is not deleterious to women teachers' careers. It is far less harmful than other forms of part-time teaching although, as yet, it is not challenging full-time teaching as the dominant work model.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: School of Education

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