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Teachers' working conditions and illness: a comparative study between teachers of students with and without special education needs

Grant number: 06/01846-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2006
Effective date (End): May 20, 2007
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Education - Specific topics in Education
Principal Investigator:Maria Amélia Almeida
Grantee:Nilson Rogério da Silva
Host Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


1996 LDB’s text discusses the prescription and use of teaching resources and school environment as far as this may affect teacher’s formation. That document, however, leave questions about the formation of teachers/educators unanswered. Investment in teacher’s formation seem to overlook problems regarding the teachers’ health and others concerning all the physical and emotional strains placed on them by their daily tasks. Such concerns have been addressed in several countries and investigations have been made in order to assess how professionals are impacted on a daily basis. Teachers often work under unfavorable conditions such as limited or adapted spaces, with poor or obsolete equipment. It could be said that hazardous conditions underlie the teacher’s job, from both the physical and emotional perspectives. It is believed that such constraints may put the teacher’s health in harm’s way and influence the quality of their service. The aim of this study was to make a comparison between working conditions and sickness profile (taking into account physical and emotional factors) in three groups of elementary school teachers as follows: a) regular teaching, b) regular teaching including children carrying special learning needs and c) special schools. It also set out to investigate possible implications of working conditions and teacher’s sicknesses in the workplace. Sixty (60) teachers/educators from Bauru and neighboring region were selected to take part in the research, and were subsequently divided into three groups of 20 participants each. Two tools will be used: a) an interview that will help elicit what occupational risk factors are and b) a protocol (Maslach Burnout Inventory – MBI) in order to assess burnouts in the groups.

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