An Exploration of Career Adaptation of Teachers: A Comparison Between Public and Private School Teachers

An Exploration of Career Adaptation of Teachers: A Comparison Between Public and Private School Teachers

Mehmet Hilmi Koç (İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesi, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7772-0.ch008
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This chapter aims to reveal the efforts of teachers working in private and public schools to adapt into their career. It employs phenomenology, one of qualitative research designs. The study group was composed of 20 teachers working in high schools. Maximum variation sampling, which is a type of purposeful sampling, was used in this study. While teachers working in public schools found teaching restricted as a career, those working in private schools thought they had a more dynamic profession. It may be stated that teachers working in public schools and in private schools encounter different types of difficulties and that they have differing strategies to cope with the difficulties. A new career system, in which teachers could specialize in their careers and routines could be avoid, could be introduced in both public and private schools.
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Career is the development of vocational behaviors through time (Savickas, 2002). In other words, career is the sequence of developments individuals go through in their lives (Baruch, 2006; Super & Hall, 1978). Career theorists describe career as the process of development and they divide it into various developmental stages (Super, 1957; Hall & Mansfield, 1975; Levinson, 1986; Greenhous, Callanan & Godshalk, 2010). The processes of preparation for an occupation, participation in it and quitting it have been analyzed by breaking them into various developmental stages. For example, Super (1990) divided the career development into five stages as the stage of physical and psychological growth (ages 0-14), the stage of exploration (ages 15-24), the stage of establishment (ages 25-44), the stage of maintenance (ages 45-64) and the stage of disengagement (age 65+). Each stage contains several difficulties that individuals need to cope with. Super (1957) calls the degree to which individuals cope with those difficulties- that is, their ability to make right decisions, as career maturity (vocational maturity). Career maturity is the whole of physical, psychological and social properties.

The concept of career maturity, suggested by Super (1957), focuses on individuals’ ability to make decisions depending on their professional development stages. While Super (1957) describes career development as the maturation of internal processes, Savickas (2002) describes it as the process of adaptation to the environment. Today, people can change their jobs frequently due to the new conditions caused by the changes in business environment. Moreover, they may have to work in more than one job simultaneously. Uncertainties are abundant in contemporary business life. Describing career adaptation or career maturation on the basis of age-related development stages cannot be adequate on its own. Therefore, Savickas (1997) introduced the concept of career adaptation instead of career maturity.

Super (1957) described career development as stages coming after another and happening in the same way for everyone. Thus, it is claimed that the difficulties individuals need to cope with are similar. Yet, Savickas (2002) states that every individual constructs his or her career in different ways even though career development involves similar stages. The theory of career construction, developed by Savickas (2002), prioritizes not only the vocational behavior required by a career but also the development of deep thoughts (reflections) on the course of this behavior. Those deep thoughts can focus on occupations (objective career) or on real events about the meanings assigned to occupations (subjective career). Whereas Super (1957) suggested an objective theory of career on the assumption that career development involves the same stages for everyone, Savickas (2002) argues that career is shaped according to the meanings individuals assign and every individual has his or her own subjective construction of career. He also claims that every individual’s construction of career is specific to him/her, and every individual has his/her own strategies to cope with the difficulties he/she encounters in his/her career.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Private School: Schools whose finance, management and human resources are executed by private people and private organizations.

Change: Any type of change that can occur in values institutions have.

Uncertainty: Difficulty experienced in evaluating the properties and the future of a job.

Career Adaptability: The ability to successfully adapt to changes in the values of the job one has.

Career Development: The process of increasing an individual’s employability through continuous learning and self-discovery.

Public School: Schools whose finance, management, and human resources are completely the responsibility of the state.

Career: The development of individuals’ vocational behaviors throughout their life.

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