NAVIGATION- Dr. Charles R. Davenport; Licensed Psychologist

Tag : school

Teacher Burnout: Depression too?

A new study suggests a significant connection between depression and burnout among primary school teachers. Many of the signs of burnout such as, being more cynical, lacking energy, lacking interest, needing to work harder to accomplish less, or changes in sleep or eating, are also seen in the early onset of depression. This study offers some evidence to support an implied, long standing, qualitative correlation.

Drs. Irvin S. Schonfeld of the City College of New York’s Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership and Renzo Bianchi of the Institute of Work and Organizational Psychology, University of Neuchatel, Switzerland, discovered a significant overlap between burn out and depression.

Their findings looked at survey results from 1,386 pre-k to 12th grade US teachers that were assessing for burn out. they found that 86% of the burnout group met criteria for depression whereas less than 1% of the no burnout group met criteria for depression. Teachers in the burnout group are also found to be more than two times as likely to have history of anxiety. This supports another long-standing correlation between depression and anxiety. This article appears in the Journal of Clinical Psychology. Charles R Davenport Psy.D. LLC provides counseling and therapy services to help teachers and other professionals be aware of burnout, worked to overcome it when it does interfere, and to strive toward avoiding burnout where possible.

Students: How much homework is too much?

It is the bane of many students (and at times their parents and teachers) school lives… homework. Students can feel overwhelmed, anxious, sad and avoid school work at all costs. Que the parents, who frequently want their child to be successful in school, to remind, remind again, and resort to punishment or restriction to try to entice school work to be completed. This does not even touch on the added time and energy needed to study for tests and complete extracurricular activities.

So, how much homework is helpful? Recent research published by the American Psychological Association (APA) and discussed in a press release finds that more than 70 minutes is too much for adolescents. The full journal article, Adolescents’ Homework Performance in Mathematics and Science: Personal Factors and Teaching Practices,  is available here.

The study on adolescents and homework found that of significant importance is that the homework be “systematic and regular with a focus on instilling work habits and promoting autonomous, self regulated learning” according to Javier Suarez-Alvarez, graduate student, co-lead author with Ruben Fernandez-Alonso, PhD, and Professor Jose Muniz at the University of Oviedo in Spain.

When the focus in on work volume students were not found to perform as well. Once teachers assigned 90-100 minutes of homework per day this study found that performance significantly decline in math and science.

Helping students to feel confident in having  the skills to take on challenges is likely to aid in their  autonomous functioning. This study found that autonomous learners scored better than students who needed help.  Suarez-Alvarez suggested that self-regulated learning is strongly connected to academic performance and success. Self regulation and sparking the interest within a student is something Dr. Davenport finds is very helpful to foster in most all students. Finding the drive and regulation from within can be so powerful in helping students thrive and avoid academic apathy, anxiety and depression.


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