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Measuring the level of teacher's stress at early years schools in Kuwait

Sawsan Ali-Tarkait
College of Basic Education, Kuwait
Frustration and pressure caused by the daily fast-pace and ever-changing surrounding has caused stress to become a part of everyone's daily living. Stress is actually the body's reaction to the stresses we face in our lives (Kaiser & Polczynski, 1982; Terry, 1997). The stress experienced by teachers is no different (Bruke, Greenglass, & Schwarzer, 1996). Kuwaiti teachers of early years have been complaining of stress of work and it's been a topic of discussion over the years. The extra responsibilities for the classroom duties have become increasingly difficult. Kuwaiti Ministry of Education, recognising the harmful side which might affect the teaching of early years process and its impact on the personal lives of teachers and their students, has tried to adapt a new technique of teaching early years to reduce stress on both teachers and children.

This paper examines the level of stress experienced by teachers at early year's schools in Kuwait in addition to evaluating the effect of stress on the standard of learning environment and the surrounding educational materials. The study also examined the collaboration (if any) between the College of Basic Education and the Ministry of Education, particularly in the actions taken to reduce the level of stress to its minimal level. The study is based on a field work that contain an extensive review of the related literature, questionnaires and a personal interview with the head of the early years department both at the University of Kuwait and the College of Basic Education, as well as staff members in higher education. A personal interview with the head of the research department of the Ministry of Education was also conducted to explore the reasons hiding behind the lack of collaboration between the Ministry of Education and higher education. Finally, the paper would argue that unless stress is reduced to an acceptable level, teachers at early years schools would be able to achieve their objectives thus affecting the quality of learning for early year's school.

Author: Dr Sawsan Ali-Tarkait, Assistant Professor, College of Basic Education, Kuwait

Please cite as: Sawsan, A.-T. (2002). Measuring the level of teacher's stress at early years schools in Kuwait. In S. McNamara and E. Stacey (Eds), Untangling the Web: Establishing Learning Links. Proceedings ASET Conference 2002. Melbourne, 7-10 July.

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