Teachers' Dilemmas
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Teachers' Dilemmas

Thank you for visiting. If you’re a school teacher and over 45 years of age, have taught for more than ten years, and would like to share your experiences, we would really like to hear from you.

Informal, conversational interviews will be conducted at times and locations that are convenient to you, either through Zoom or at a COVID-safe and private location.  Approximately 30-45 minutes would be an expected duration.  Some participants may be asked to complete a second interview which would be of a lesser duration.  To thank you for your valuable time, you will receive a $30 gift voucher at the conclusion of interviewing.  

Please click on Show Policy link below to see the Consent Information about participating in this research, and then click Accept, and then Next to enter into the consent form. Alternatively, click on the Show Policy check box to continue and then click Next.

There are 9 questions in this survey.

This project is being undertaken as part of a Doctor of Education through the University of Southern Queensland.  Its purpose is to investigate mature and experienced teachers’ experiences of tolerance of distress associated with teaching dilemmas.  Findings aim to obtain new knowledge which may assist teachers in coping with this distress.  The research team requests your assistance because you may provide valuable insight from your experiences which may be of value to others. Non-identifiable data and outcomes will be published within the researcher’s thesis and may be communicated within a peer-reviewed journal and a conference.  Summary documents will be available to participants on request from the Principal Investigator. A summary will also be communicated through the Principal Supervisor’s research group’s web page.

The project has approval from the university and will be conducted in accordance with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research.

Participation is entirely voluntary and is open only to teachers over 45 years of age with a minimum of ten years teaching experience.  You are free to withdraw at any stage of the project and this in no way will impact upon your current or future relationship with the University of Southern Queensland, the New South Wales Department of Education and Communities or members of the research team.  If you choose to withdraw you may request that any data collected about you be omitted from the project and be confidentially destroyed.  Please contact the Research Team (contact details at the top of this form) should you choose to withdraw.


Your participation will involve contributing within at least one interview that will take approximately 30-45 minutes of your time.  Some participants will be asked to participate in an additional one or two interviews of a lesser duration to discuss the researchers’ interpretations of data obtained from the interviews or to contribute more data.  Most interviews will be undertaken by teleconference (Zoom) at a date and time that is convenient to you.  Some undertaken within the local area can occur at a time and venue at your convenience. 

Interviews will be within a friendly atmosphere where research concepts will be explained and discussed prior to questioning.  Questions will focus on your experiences of dealing with teaching dilemmas at work.  Teaching dilemmas are common decision-making situations that are impacted by competing influences and require you to decide on action that you believe is ‘right.’ This action may involve some form of compromise. Example questions about your experiences in dealing with specific dilemmas may include those below. 

  • What is an example of a teaching dilemma that stands out for you?
  • How did you feel when you made that decision?

With your consent, interview(s) will be recorded with an audio device.  If you do not wish this to occur, please advise the researcher as it will not be possible to participate in the research without being recorded.



It is expected that this research will not directly benefit you.  However, it may produce new knowledge to assist teachers in coping with the distress associated with teaching dilemmas.  This knowledge may also be relevant to others within helping professionals to assist them in developing tolerance to distress associated with their professional dilemmas.

As a token of appreciation for your participation you will receive a $30 gift card at the conclusion of all interviews, estimated to occur within mid-2022.  This will be posted to you.


day living.  You may though experience some inconvenience due to the time required for interviewing.  There may also be potential for you to experience discomfort in talking about common teaching dilemmas.  Sometimes talking about the issues raised may create some uncomfortable or distressing feelings.  The researcher will contact you through email or phone approximately two working days after interview(s) for debriefing if required.  If you need to talk to someone immediately, please contact:

  • Lifeline on 131114 (24/7),
  • University Psychology and Counselling Services on 0738126163 or 0746311763,
  • NSW DEC Employee Assistance Program on 1800 060 650, or
  • Beyond Blue on 1300224636 (24/7).


You may also wish to consider consulting your General Practitioner (GP) for additional support.

All participants’ comments and responses will be treated confidentially unless required by law.  Audio recordings will be transcribed by an independent firm (approved by the university) who will not have access to any of your personal information.  Interview transcripts will be used by the researcher for data analysis and in accordance with 2.5.2 of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.  Research data should be made available for use by other researchers unless this is prevented by ethical, privacy or confidentiality matters.  No personal information will accompany interview data and instead pseudonyms will be used to identify individuals, that is; your data will be non-identifiable. 

Non-identifiable data will be stored electronically on password protected storage services.  Any data collected as a part of this project will be stored securely as per University of Southern Queensland’s Research Data Management policy.

Data will be available for future research following ethical approval for and completion of this research.  You may choose to opt out of having your data made available for future research and continue to participate within the project.

We would like to ask you to approve this survey link as a written consent form to confirm your agreement to participate in this project. 

Please refer to the Research Team Contact Details at the top of the form to have any questions answered or to request further information about this project.


If you have any concerns or complaints about the ethical conduct of the project, you may contact the University of Southern Queensland Manager of Research Integrity and Ethics on +61 7 4631 1839 or email researchintegrity@usq.edu.au. The Manager of Research Integrity and Ethics is not connected with the research project and can facilitate a resolution to your concern in an unbiased manner.