Term of Award

Summer 2011

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Linda M. Arthur

Committee Member 1

Paul M. Brinson

Committee Member 2

Ralph Gornto

Abstract

Teacher attrition is a serious issue facing school administrators today. In order to implement effective educational programs, schools need experienced teachers who are equipped to deal with such challenges. In response to increased work demands, and the challenge of educating a diverse student population, many teachers are leaving the field of education, citing stress as a primary reason for leaving. Stress factors cited most often include inadequate salaries, work overload, curriculum concerns stemming from federal, state and local mandates, lack of shared decision making and unsatisfactory relationships with stakeholders. The researcher sought to compare the stress factors experienced by teachers to determine if there is a link between gender, grade level taught, years of teaching experience and teacher perceptions of the work factors that contribute to stress. Understanding the specific factors that cause work-related stress among each group of certified teachers will provide appropriate direction in planning future professional development and induction programs to best meet the needs of all teachers. Teacher responses to a survey regarding the factors that cause or mitigate occupational stress were analyzed. A correlation study identified no differences in stress based upon years of teaching experience and an Independent T Test showed no differences in stress based on gender. An Analysis of Variance did detect a difference in the degree of teacher stress based on grade level taught. The researcher has concluded from this study that teachers exhibit a moderate degree of occupational stress. Stress is present among teachers at all levels of experience, though differences exist in stress levels based on length of service or based on gender. Differences in stress levels were identified based on grade level taught, with elementary school teachers exhibiting higher levels of stress than did middle school or high school teachers.

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