Date of Conferral

1-1-2009

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Pamela Harrison

Abstract

Demands associated with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 contribute to the risk of teacher burnout; however, the relationship between teacher burnout and specific teaching assignments is unclear. Accordingly, the purpose of this study was to investigate if burnout is greater for high-stakes subject area public high school teachers than for low-stakes subject area public high school teachers and to ascertain teachers' perceptions about difficulties associated with teaching a high-stakes subject area. The job demands-resources model and the multidimensional model of burnout provided the theoretical framework. The concurrent mixed methods design included quantitative tests of differences in burnout scores of 87 Maryland public high school teachers across high-stakes and low-stakes subject areas, and the qualitative research question documented perceptions. The Maslach Burnout Inventory---Educators Survey measured burnout, and although high-stakes teachers reported greater burnout, chi-square and independent sample t-test did not confirm statistically significant differences across subject area. Qualitative data underwent coding into emergent burnout-related themes that were reanalyzed and revised to explain teacher perceptions. Analysis of teacher responses yielded 5 domains that affected burnout: workload/time incompatibility, pressure on teachers for students to pass high-stakes tests, need for all stakeholders to take responsibility, diminished teacher autonomy, and lack of resources. Recommendations include addressing teacher workload and sharing educational responsibilities among all stakeholders. Because burnout is an organizational issue, positive social change is achievable if administrators promote positive coping strategies and include teachers in the change process necessary to achieve the goals of No Child Left Behind.