The Atrophy of the Professional Role among Teachers from Middletown in Poland. An Analysis of the Phenomenon and Its Determinants.

Łukasz Kutyło


The subject-matter of this paper is the phenomenon of atrophy of the professional role among teachers. The term atrophymust be understood as the gradual disappearance of duties binding upon the individual that regulate his/her professional role. In the case of schools, this phenomenon results in the noticeable decrease of teachersprofessional commitment, which makes it difficult or even impossible for these institutions to fulfil their educational and other goals. Sources of the atrophy of the professional role should be sought not only in the individual, his/her mindsets or attitude to work, but also in the environment in which he/she functions. The weakening of intermediary structures seems to play an important role in this process. These are cognitive scripts that potentially increase the likelihood that the individual will be inclined to comply with duties of which his/her professional role consists. These structures are formed as a result of factors such as the impact of the mechanisms of social control on the individual. For the purpose of verifying this assumption, a survey was conducted among teachers (T=131) from three primary schools from Middletown in Poland. The analysis of data acquired from this survey shows that the atrophy of the professional role may be influenced by the weakening of these structures that are responsible for the formation of the sense of purpose of work being performed and the defining of the normative distance.

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