Teaching Multiple School Subjects Role Conflict: A Theoretically Informed Conceptual Framework

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  • 1 Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, VIC, Australia
  • | 2 Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA
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Emerging research suggests that the stress and complexities of the teaching profession contribute to early exits from the field. Stressors may be increased when individuals are tasked with teaching physical education and another school subject(s) concurrently. More specifically, role conflict in teaching multiple school subjects consists of three subdomains: status conflict, schedule conflict, and energy expenditure. The purpose of this paper is to propose a theoretically informed conceptual model of this type of conflict that better informs the professional lives and careers of teachers. The framework’s three interrelated elements are dynamic and contextually bound and influence the experience of multiple subjects role conflict. These three elements include experiences of role conflict, contextual and individual factors, and an outer limit of individuals’ capacity to manage stressors. Three vignettes are used to illustrate how teachers’ experiences of conflict interact with contextual and individual factors to increase or decrease their capacity for stress.

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