Marginal Teachers from the Eyes of School Principals: Concept, Problems and Management Strategies

Cetin Erdogan, Nihan Demirkasimoglu

Abstract


This research aimed to determine how Turkish principals define marginal teachers and which strategies they use to deal with them. Within this purpose, the following points are examined: (a) the concept of marginal teacher, (b) the underlying reasons for marginal teacher behaviors, (c) the problems marginal teachers cause in school settings, (d) the strategies principals use most to deal with marginal teachers, and (e) possible precautions to be taken to deal with marginal teacher behaviors. The study is performed as a qualitative research. The participants in this study are comprised of 18 high school principals from general and vocational high schools from urban and rural regions of Ankara, Turkey. The data required in relation to the aims of the study are gathered through interviews with these principals. The gathered data are analyzed by content analysis method. As can be seen from the findings of the research, school principals defined marginal teachers within three categories. These are; reluctant teachers who do not love their profession but do it due to some economic obligations; incompetent teachers who have weak subject area knowledge and are resistant to professional development and change and difficult teachers who continuously create problems at school due to their personality characteristics or personal problems. The reasons underlying the behaviors of marginally teachers were stated to be teaching profession’s gradual loss of status and value, inefficient systems of teacher education and appointment, lack of sanctions imposed in case of poor performance and incompetency and reflection of problems experienced in private life into professional life. Strategies most widely employed by the principals to manage marginal teachers are construction of mutual dialogues, conducting an investigation, overlooking the problem and assigning different tasks to marginal teachers. The most important problems brought about by marginal teachers are deteriorating academic performance of students, their declining interests, attendance and motivation, discontent on the part of parents and negative impacts on other teachers’ performance and motivation.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/jets.v4i4.1318

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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