Date of Conferral







John Harrison


Standardized tests are considered high stress because consequences such as loss of certification and replacement of school staff affect teacher morale and self-efficacy. The purpose of this concurrent complementarity mixed-methods study was to examine the relationship between novice teachers’ high-stakes test stress, their well-being, and their intent to return to school the next year. The concepts of teacher stress and teacher well-being provided the conceptual framework for the study. Twenty-five teachers participated in a survey measuring their well-being and high-stakes test stress level. Eight of those teachers also participated in individual phone interviews. Results of the quantitative (Pearson correlations) and qualitative (coded and themed interviews) data analyses were complementary. Quantitative findings showed that as teachers’ perception of school connectedness increased, so did their stress related to high-stakes testing. This unexpected finding was supported by the qualitative data that showed that the school environment, not the students’ test scores, caused the stress. The findings may be used to promote positive social change by policymakers and administrators to provide better training for novice teachers, thereby increasing their retention and creating an optimal educational environment for students.