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Japanese elementary school teachers’ professional experiences of long working hours

Sato, T., Mason, S.ORCID: 0000-0002-8999-4448 and Kataoka, C. (2020) Japanese elementary school teachers’ professional experiences of long working hours. Issues in Educational Research, 30 (4). pp. 1522-1538.

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This study is an in-depth investigation of the experiences of a small group of elementary school teachers in Japan, who have among the longest working hours in the world. A total of eight teachers from four public elementary schools volunteered to take part in this study. Its design is descriptive-qualitative, using an in-depth, semi-structured interviewing approach which is well-suited to understanding complex academic and social phenomena. Through field visits and interviews, a number of demands were identified that place considerable stress on teachers, all of which relate to extra-curricular expectations beyond the core roles of planning, teaching and assessment. Few resources are available to help cope with these demands, leaving teachers overwhelmed and exhausted, and frustrated as they have little recourse to affect change. The findings should serve as a warning of the risks to teacher well-being.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Institutes for Educational Research
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