Student teacher stress and coping mechanisms

Brian Hemmings, Tania Hockley

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This article reports on a study that focused on the lived experiences and concerns of final year Bachelor of Education (Primary) students undertaking a nine-week internship in a rural location. The study had two aims: one, to identify the main sources of stress faced by student teachers as they progressed though the internship; and two, to explore how the student teachers coped with this stress. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were adopted to meet the aims of the study. Qualitative research methods, based on the principles of grounded theory, guided the data collection and analysis. These methods included interviews with diary accounts kept by four student teachers. An analysis of these data generated five categories of stress, and these categories were also indicative of the coping strategies adopted to deal with stress related to the internship. A quantitative research method was employed to complement the qualitative approach and was applied to survey data from the cohort of student teachers (N=54) undertaking the internship. The responses were analysed using a content analysis. Four main categories of stress were derived and five coping strategies employed by the cohort of student teachers were identified. Taken together, the findings provided an insight into the experiences of the student teachers involved in the rural-based internship. The implications of the study are wide ranging, and a number of recommendations arising from the study are outlined
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-35
Number of pages11
JournalEducation in Rural Australia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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