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Meeting the needs of teachers: Who knows where the time goes?

1 June 1993


This paper explores professional and personal needs of teachers, specifically in relationship to time and the ability to meet demands within the current school structure. Needs are categorized utilizing Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Employing Maslow's logic, it is asserted that if basic needs of teachers are not accounted for in the school structure, it is unrealistic to assume teachers will be able to successfully and effectively create optimal learning environments. Through observations, questionnaires, and interviews, data is .. collected which reveals new roles for teachers, current demands, and teachers' perceptions of time needs. Teachers' perceptions of changes in their needs with the move toward developmentally appropriate practices, as compared to more traditional classrooms, are also explored .. It is found that the school structure does not adequately support meeting many teachers' needs in all categories of Maslow's hierarchy. Teachers are often forced to choose between professional and personal needs. Although changes which address planning, preparation, and collaboration needs have been proposed, these modifications are not sufficient. The structure of the school must be revised, so that teachers have optimal support for doing their jobs successfully without being forced to choose between professional or personal requirements.


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