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Mowers, Erin N.; Ph.D.
Program of Education;
College of Human Development and Education; North Dakota State University
April 2010

Teacher Burnout in North Dakota       

Major Professor: Dr. Ron Stammen


The purpose of this mixed study dissertation was to determine if teachers in North Dakota public schools show signs of teacher burnout and the extent to which NCLB is a major stress factor. 

The research questions were:  To what extent are teachers experiencing symptoms of burnout?  What are the factors of burnout?  The research hypothesis was:  The policies of No Child Left Behind are the highest stress factor for teachers in North Dakota public schools.


This study used an electronic, web-based data collection procedure.  This was accomplished by surveying members of the North Dakota Education Association.  The target population was 2,000 teachers in public schools in North Dakota, with 687 (34% response rate) participating in this study.  The data collected and analyzed basic descriptive statistics (means and standard deviations) and a one-way ANOVA test.  The comments from teachers on their present job satisfaction were qualitatively coded, themed and reported.


The Maslach Burnout Inventory for educators was used for instrumentation which included 22 questions forming three sub-scales:  Depersonalization, Emotional Exhaustion, and Personal Accomplishment.  A seven-job satisfaction variable survey was used to determine what variables may cause teacher burnout.  The seven variables were: principal leader-ship, school funding, AYP, salaries, work environment, feedback on teaching and superintendent leadership.


Conclusions for question one were: teachers in ND do not feel good about their competency or effectiveness in the classroom:  there is low teacher morale; teachers do not exhibit depersonalization or blaming of their students; ND teachers are not cynical; and teachers have moderate levels of emotional exhaustion and struggle with factors of time on job and meetings.


Question two conclusions were: female, elementary teachers in large school districts show the most stress for making AYP, a factor for burnout; the more education a teacher has the less satisfied they are with the leadership of the principal; which is not the case for their superintendent.  Teachers were satisfied with work environment and feedback on their job performance.


The Research hypothesis was rejected because teachers do not feel that the NCLB policies were the highest stress factors compared to those on the MBI-ES survey.  The highest stress factors for North Dakota teachers were salaries and school funding.


Four themes emerged from the survey respondent comments: lack of time, high-stakes testing, financial concerns and control issues.

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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Last Updated: Monday, November 21, 2011 11:51:37 AM