Mental toughness encompasses a range of positive psychological resources which have been found to be beneficial across a wide range of contexts (e.g., education, sports, work). According to the most popular model used in education contexts, the attributes of challenge, commitment, control (emotion, life), and confidence (in abilities and interpersonal) have been found to be beneficial across a wide range of educational outcomes and experiences, including school attainment, attendance, classroom behavior, peer relationships, academic motivation and engagement, and the ease of educational transitions. However, conceptual debates of mental toughness (e.g., trait vs. state; domain specificity) are ongoing and pose important questions for the operationalization and measurement of mental toughness as it continues to be explored across different educational settings. Of particular importance is the debate about whether mental toughness is a state or a trait. Being a state indicates it could be developed given the right environment and support, suggesting value in working with pupils and teachers to develop interventions. Further research is therefore necessary to fully understand whether, how, and why we can utilize the development of mental toughness to optimize educational outcomes.
Helen St. Clair-Thompson and Sarah McGeown
Hasan Hariri and Bambang Sumintono
Teachers matter for many reasons, particularly because they can make a difference in student achievement. Student achievement can help improve school and education quality. Teacher commitment to teaching and its associated aspects are explored, including the characteristics of committed teachers. Committed teachers are characterized by four qualities: having a desire to be good teachers, being more fact purveyors and sources, recognizing and accepting individual worth, and meeting professional responsibilities. Thus, committed teachers need to be prepared, to maintain their commitment, and to improve their performance. Principals can help teachers be committed to teaching, for example, by implementing leadership styles that contribute to their commitment. Education policymakers can make the teaching profession be more appealing by elevating its status, similar to that of doctors, to attract the best candidates.
Thomas R. Hughes and Frank D. Davidson
Even though conflict is increasingly finding its way into school settings, there is evidence that school leaders do not view themselves as being adequately equipped to meet the growing challenges. Training on short-term approaches to dealing with immediate issues may be available to practitioners through professional development offerings, but there is more involved in successfully and sustainably dealing with conflict than getting through a tense moment. School leaders need to be able to understand the causes and complexities—as well as navigate time elements—associated with ongoing conflict that can take place at the personal as well as organizational levels. Beyond understanding these concepts, administrators themselves need to increase the capacity of their staff and their organizations to assist in their development. In addition to learning how to recognize patterns and underlying causes advancing adversity, administrators would do well to invest in long-term conflict diminishing approaches such as building trust and improving interpersonal and organizational capacity as ways to increase credibility within and outside of the school itself. Finding people who can think critically and work adaptively to solve problems could prove to be a real advantage for educational leaders who strive to reduce the stress of the workplace and create a more collegial climate within the schools they serve. Building trust and the ability to “come through” capably for others even in tough situations increases the credibility of leaders. Leading through conflict with this credibility in turn helps to sustain a positive climate in schools.
Talatu Salihu Ahmadu and Yahya bin Don
Organizational citizenship behavior has recently received much interest as it differentiates between actions in which employees are eager to and not to go beyond their prescribed role requirements in diverse organizations. The claim for organizational effectiveness is generally on the increase, seeing as the world is globalizing. In particular, educational systems are shifting toward an era of reorganization, requiring them to toil in a competitive and complex environment. This makes higher education institutions share a likeness with other organizations as the crucial business of an educational institution is imparting quality knowledge through research, teaching, and the learning process. Several organizations have endeavored to be familiar with and compensate employee citizenship behavior as it is currently being integrated into workers’ assessments owing to indications that organizational behavior contributes greatly to the thriving efficiency of employees as well as school organizational competence. This has made the phrase organizational citizenship behavior no longer exclusively applicable to the business segment. It has become germane with regard to educational institutions and their functionality inthe early 21st century, as there isjust slight dissimilarity between education and business organizations. Bearing this in mind, it then becomes importantthat teachers at higher institutions strive to do meet their responsibilities in form of teacher organizational citizenship behavior in spite of all impediments. Also, school leadership must devise a means of encouraging teachers to do their best to support their schools’ accomplishments.
As social organizations, labor unions place special emphasis on the active participation of their members. In this way, labor union leaders expect not only to safeguard their union’s smooth operation but also to increase their negotiating powers, and defend vigorously working employees’ rights as well as put forward demands for new ones. In recent decades, securing rights to permanent employment as well as many other achievements of the union movement have been increasingly challenged. In addition, modern societies like Greece seem apprehensive as regards demands put forward by labor unions. The appeal of economic liberalization and globalization policies could provide an initial explanation for this phenomenon. However, it is not just the global economic situation and policies that have challenged the dynamics of the union movement nowadays. Attention has to be shifted to the internal environment of the labor unions such as Teachers’ Federation of Greece. This might better explain the limited participation of employees like Greek teachers in their union’s actions and proceedings, such as strikes, stoppages, and public demonstrations.