Investigating First Year Education Students’ Stress Level
Written by Gretchen Geng and Richard Milford, Charles Darwin University
This paper investigated the stress levels of first-year education students who undertake teaching practicum and theory units during their first year of teacher education program. First, 139 first-year and 143 other years’ education students completed the PSS-10 scale, which measures perceived level of stress. Then, 147 first-year education students completed an online questionnaire to identify the particular stressors in their learning experience. The first-year education students had significantly higher stress levels than other years’ education students, (p < .01). Contributing stressors included academic work commitment; completing placement and related performance assessments in schools and at university; having a good understanding of the requirements of professional teaching, such as classroom management, and working with mentor teachers; and conflicting work and family commitments. These findings provide greater understanding about the stressors experienced by first-year education students and usefully inform ways to help this group achieve their study and career goals.