Sources of Stress and Professional Burnout of Teachers of Special Educational Needs in Greece

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Sources of stress and professional burnout of teachers of special educational needs in Greece
Antoniou, A.S. University of Manchester
Polychroni, F.University of WalesAthens Campus
Walters, B.University of Manchester
Abstract
According to recent international research, Special Educational Needs (SEN) teachers serve one of the most stressful occupations. Special working conditions such as the high ratio of teachers and pupils, the limited progress due to the various problems of the pupils with special needs and the high workload exert an additional psychological pressure on the personality and the work performance of SEN teachers. The aim of this study was to investigate the specific sources of stress which make the work of Greek SEN
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1991; Kyriacou & Sutcliffe, 1979; Kyriacou, 1987; Manthei & Solman, 1988; Laughlin, 1984; Travers & Cooper, 1996; Guglielmi & Tatrow, 1998) .
There is also a number of studies (though fewer in number) focusing on specialist samples of teachers such as teachers in special schools, teachers of primary or secondary schools (Chaplain, 1995; Manthei & Solman, 1996), newly qualified teachers, heads of department or headteachers (Cooper & Kelly, 1993; Friedman, 1995). Children with special educational needs have been recognised as creating additional pressures for teachers (Galloway, 1985, Upton, & Varma, 1996). The stressful effects of teaching pupils with various different special needs have been examined including the hearing impaired (Luckner, 1989; Fraser, 1996) children with severe difficulties (Sutton & Huberty, 1984; Ware, 1996) and reading difficulties (Carlile, 1985). Concerning the Special Educational Needs (SEN) teachers, the additional sources of stress refer to the individual learning, emotional and other needs of the children that may be accompanied from mental, physical and/or sensory impairments. In

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