Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Elvin Gabriel

Second Advisor

Jimmy Kijai

Third Advisor

Carlisle Applewhaite

Abstract

The purpose of this research study was to explore the extent to which variations in the three subscales of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) are influenced by teachers' attitude toward the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. This study also examined the extent to which years of teaching experience and class size influence differences in reported levels of burnout.

Method: Teacher perception of the NCLB Act and how it contributes to teacher burnout in this study was examined by utilizing two instruments. First was the MBI-ES instrument which captures a three-dimensional profile of burnout: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment. Second, the No Child Left Behind survey focused on four components of the NCLB that may contribute to burnout: Teachers' perception of standardized testing, pressure felt by teachers to improve test scores, standardized test effect on instructional practices, and teachers' opinions of NCLB and its adequate yearly progress. Teachers' years of teaching experience and the class size as it relates to small, average, or large class sizes were also examined to determine how they influenced differences in reported levels of burnout. Descriptive statistics, multivariate analysis of variance, and canonical correlation were employed to analyze the data.

Results: The results of the teachers' attitudes toward the No Child Left Behind survey indicated the following: 1. Over 50% or more of the respondents indicated a negative response to the effectiveness of standardized testing. 2. Over 50% or more of the respondents reported feeling pressure from the following entities, namely: (a) The State Department of Education; (b) The No Child Left Behind Act; (c) The U.S. Department of Education; (d) the newspaper media; and (e) The Local School District Administration. Also, 50% or more of the teachers indicated that they put pressure on themselves to improve test scores. 3. Over 50% or more of the respondents agreed that the following variables had an impact on how the state and district's standardized tests affected instructional practices: (a) teaching to the standards; (b) teaching content on the state/district test; (b) elimination of curriculum material that is not tested; (c) a lot of time spent on test-taking skills; (d) rote drill in teaching; (e) emphasis on factual recall knowledge; (f) the use of explicit instruction; (g) clarification of learning goals; and (h) effective teaching of students who struggle academically. 4. Over 50% or more of the respondents agreed that the following variables, (a) teaching to the test; (b) elimination of non-tested curriculum; and (c) teacher burnout, were impacted by the No Child Left Behind Act and its Adequate Yearly Progress component..

The analysis indicated that teachers who score low in emotional exhaustion and depersonalization and high in personal accomplishment will feel less pressure to increase test scores and have high opinions regarding standardized tests and their effect on instructional practices as well as high opinions regarding the impact of the NCLB on adequate yearly progress.

The components of burnout (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment) were not affected by years of teaching experience. Depersonalization was affected by teachers who had small classes and teachers who had large class sizes.

Conclusions: Based on the analysis, the following conclusions were deduced: 1. Teachers who have not met the criteria for the burnout syndrome have a higher opinion of the NCLB Act and its mandates. 2. Based on this research and previous studies, class size plays a role in teacher burnout. 3. Teachers who have not met the criteria for the burnout syndrome but report high levels of emotional exhaustion may be at risk for burnout.

Subject Area

Teachers--Michigan--Job Stress, Teachers--Michigan--Attitudes, Burn out (Psychology)--Michigan--Berrien County

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