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By Deuwe G. Jongmans & Peter Claus Wolfgang Gutkind

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However, this is not likely to be sufficient since the difficulties are not just at the individual level (as previously discussed), and so intervention is also required to prevent organisational demands undermining teachers’ efficacy. Teachers need some control over matters which affect their working lives and ownership of schooling as well as classroom process. In appraising their effectiveness teachers should focus on those features over which they have control. Other areas of empowering staff efficacy are discussed in Chapter 4.

Social support has been shown to be a buffer to stress (Cohen and Wills 1985). Having colleagues and friends whom you perceive as supportive alleviates feelings of isolation and having to cope with everything yourself. However, what constitutes appropriate social support is not always straight-forward. There is evidence to suggest that having a social network is less important than functional social support (Cassidy 1999). Teaching in a large comprehensive school may provide a large social network of professional colleagues (structure) but who an individual teacher perceives as providing little functional support.

The idea, however, had now been put into the mind of the teacher. The results confirmed that generally the ‘late bloomers’ showed greater improvement than the students not labelled. Additionally, teachers considered the ‘late bloomers’ were ‘better adjusted and more intellectually alive’ than their peers. Although the results seemed clear and tantalising to many, there were criticisms of both the method and logic used in the experiment (see Elashoff and Snow 1971). Nonetheless, despite criticisms the experiment provided the impetus for hundreds of subsequent studies using a range of different methods – some examining effects, others Teacher thinking and pupil behaviour 33 looking at the expectancy processes involved (Harris and Rosenthal 1986).

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Anthropologists in the field by Deuwe G. Jongmans & Peter Claus Wolfgang Gutkind

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