South African Journal of Education
On-line version ISSN 2076-3433
MAPFUMO, John S; CHITSIKO, Natsirayi and CHIRESHE, Regis. Teaching Practice generated stressors and coping mechanisms among student teachers in Zimbabwe. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2012, vol.32, n.2, pp. 155-166. ISSN 2076-3433.
We sought to establish stressors and coping mechanisms for student teachers on Teaching Practice from a Christian-related university and a government-owned teachers' college in Zimbabwe. The sample was made up of 77 participants (38 females, 39 males). Thirty-two participants were from the university and 45 were from the teachers' college. A questionnaire and an interview schedule were used to collect data. Frequencies and percentages were used in quantitative data analysis while qualitative data were thematically analysed. The main stressors revealed were problems with difficult learners, low allowances, heavy workload, and shortage of teaching and learning aids and, to some extent, supervision-related matters and the effect of the protracted industrial action by serving teachers that overlapped with the Teaching Practice period in the study. Most coping strategies were in the form of social-support networks, particularly interactions with family and friends. Student teachers suggested a number of actions to be taken to reduce the related stress. Recommendations are made.
Keywords : stress; stress coping mechanisms; student teachers; Teaching Practice; Zimbabwe.