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1 EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND BURNOUT AMONG TEACHERS IN A RURAL FLORIDA SCHOOL DISTRICT By NANCY SCHULTZ THORNQVIST A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF EDUCATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2011
2 2011 Nancy Schultz Thornqvist
3 For Maclaine and Whitney
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank my husband and friends for their support and confidence, and my parents for being shining examples, both as educators and stude nts themselves. Dr. Linda Behar H ore nstein, my committee chair, tirelessly helped and pr odded me to completion, and continues to inspire me to be a thoughtful educator. You are an amazing educator and friend! I would also like to thank the rest of my committee members: Dr. David Quinn, Dr. Mary Ann Clark, and Dr. Fran VanDiver. Your patience, insight, and input were immensely appreciated.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 7 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 8 LIST OF TERMS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 9 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 12 Purpose o f the Study ................................ ................................ ............................. 16 Research Questions ................................ ................................ .............................. 16 Significance of the Study ................................ ................................ ....................... 17 Limitations of the Study ................................ ................................ ......................... 18 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ ......................... 19 Teacher Stress ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 19 Organizational Contributing Factors to Stress ................................ ........................ 20 From Stress to Burnout ................................ ................................ .......................... 22 Burnout and its Effects on School Culture ................................ ............................. 23 Burnout and Teacher Characteristics ................................ ................................ ..... 24 The History of Emotional Intelligence ................................ ................................ ..... 26 Emotional Intelligence and Demographic Factors ................................ .................. 28 Developing Emotional Intelligence ................................ ................................ ......... 29 3 METHODS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 32 Setting ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 32 Participants ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 33 Theoretical Framework for the Methods ................................ ................................ 34 Instrumentation ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 35 The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) ................................ ............................. 35 Reliability of the MBI ................................ ................................ ................. 35 Validity of the MBI ................................ ................................ ..................... 36 The MSCEIT 2.0 ................................ ................................ ............................. 36 Reliability of the MSCEIT ................................ ................................ .......... 37 Validity of the MSCEIT ................................ ................................ .............. 37 Data Collection ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 37 Da ta Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 38
6 Variables ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 39 Null Hypotheses ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 39 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 41 5 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS ................................ ................................ ......... 49 Summary of Findings ................................ ................................ ............................. 49 Emotional Intell igence and Burnout ................................ ................................ 49 Emotional Intelligence and Teacher Characteristics ................................ ........ 50 Burnout and Teacher Characteristics ................................ .............................. 50 Perceived Stressors and Burnout ................................ ................................ .... 51 Perceived Stressors and Emotional Intelligence ................................ .............. 53 Recommendations for the Field ................................ ................................ ............. 53 Retaining Teachers by Developing Emotional Intelligence .............................. 54 Retaining Teachers by Preven ting Burnout ................................ ..................... 56 Recommendations for Future Research ................................ ................................ 59 Conclusions ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 60 REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 62 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ........................... 73
7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4 1 Spearman Co rrelations for Emotional Intelligence and Burnout (n=94) ............. 41 4 2 Descriptive Statistics of Emotional Intelligence ................................ .................. 42 4 3 Descript ive Statistics for Burnout ................................ ................................ ....... 43 4 4 Emotional Intelligence and Teacher Characteristics ................................ .......... 45 4 5 Descriptive Statistics for Emotional Intelligence (Perceiving) and Gender ......... 45 4 6 Descriptive Statistics for Emotional Intelligence (Experiencing) and Race/Ethnicity ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 45 4 7 Descriptive Statistics for Emotional Intelligence (Reasoning) and Race/Ethnicity ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 45 4 8 Chi Square and Spearman Analysis between Burnout and Teacher Characteristics ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 46 4 9 Spearman Correlations for Teacher Reported Stressors and Burnout ............... 46 4 10 Frequency of Participant Stressors ................................ ................................ .... 47 4 11 Relationship between Number of Teacher reported Stressors and EI ............... 48
8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4 1 Parti cipant Generated Stressors ................................ ................................ ....... 47
9 LIST OF TERMS Burnout A condition whereby individuals experience emotional exhaustion, depression, cynicism, perceived professional and/or personal failure Emotional Intelligence The ab ility to accurately appraise, use and express emotion; the ability to understand emotion and emotional knowledge; and the ability to use emotions to promote emotional and intellectual growth (Mayer & Salovey, 2004). MBI ES Maslach Burnout Inventory Ed ucators Survey is an depersonalization, emotional exhaustion, and level of perceived personal accomplishment MSCEIT Mayer Salovey Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test is an instrument used to assess e motional intelligence that indexes how accurately a person can read and express emotion and how well a person can compare that emotional stimulation with other sorts of sensory experiences (Mayer, 2001).
10 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND BURNOUT AMONG TEACHERS IN A RURAL FLORIDA SCHOOL DISTRICT By Nancy Schultz Thornqvist May 2011 Chair: Linda S. Behar-Horenstein Major: Educational Leadership The purpose of this exploratory quantitative study was to determine if there was a relationship between emotional intelligence and teacher burnout using the MayerSalovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) and the Maslach Burnout Inventory Educators Survey (MBIES). Teachers from four different elementary schools in one rural Florida district participated in the study. Demographic factors, including gender, age, ethnicity, participation in a mentoring program, and years of experience in the classroom and at their current school, and participants' self-reported stressors were examined to determine if they were explanatory factors. While there was no relationship between emotional intelligence and burnout, there were significant findings regarding emotional intelligence and teacher gender and race/ethnicity. Males had higher scores regarding perceiving emotions (a MSCEIT subcategory) than women while whites had higher scores on experiential emotional intelligence, the ability to perceive and utilize emotions frequently (a MSCEIT category) than blacks or Hispanics. There was also a relationship between the number of teachergenerated stressors listed in the survey and two areas of emotional intelligence:
11 emotional intelligence. The more stressors listed, the lower the ability to use emotions to do certain tasks, and the lower their overall EI. Related to burn out, teachers with 15 or more years of experience had significantly lower feelings of personal accomplishment. Also, the more stressors teachers listed, the higher their emotional exhaustion scores. While this study found no relationship between teacher burnout and emotional intelligence, there were significant relationships between stressors and teacher characteristics. This study contributes to the field of educational leadership, teacher training and mentoring, an d to individual school administrators and teachers by highlighting the factors related to the r elationship between EI and burn out. The findings suggest there may be inherent benefits of improving emotional intelligence such as decreasing teacher stress an d by extension teacher attrition. Providing targeted training in these areas aimed at improving EI and reducing burnout could be useful towards mitigating teacher attrition.
12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION In 2003 04, there were over 3.25 million public school teachers in the United States T hree fourths we re females, and 18 % comprised new or beginning teachers (Strizek, Pittonsonberger, Riordan, Liter, & Orlofsky, 2006). In an average year approximately 1,00 0 teachers quit each school day and another 1,000 te achers transfer to other schools. A third of the newly hired teachers leave during their first three years, and almost half leave during the first five years (National Commission of Teaching and Ingersoll (2002) has compar ed teacher attrition and the replacement cycle to a bucket with a hole in it. Continuous turnover of teachers predominately hurts low income schools, which suffer fro m turnover rates as much as 50 % higher than afflue nt schools (Ingersoll, 2001 ). Such chu rning results in a constant in flux of inexperienced teachers and causes schools financial burdens due to expenses required for recruiting and training A pilot study conducted by Barnes, Crowe, and Schaefer (2007) concluded that teacher turnover costs taxp ayers $7.3 billion dollars each year. In a 2005 policy brief, the Alliance for Excellent Education estimated that attrition could cost as much as Michael Allen reviewed 91 studies pertaining to teacher recruitment and retenti on to determine whether there was strong, moderate, limited, or inconclusive evidence to support their conclusions regarding who is likely to leave the profession He reviewed only quantitative studies including experimental, quasi experimental and correla tional studies that used advanced statistical approaches such as regression analysis. Allen (2005) reported that there was m oderate evidence suggesting white teachers have
13 great er attrition rates than African American or Hispanic teachers. Specifically, he found that minority teachers were more likely than white teachers to remain in schools with higher proportions of minority students. He found limited evidence that teachers with high intellectual proficiency are more likely to leave teaching compared to individuals with significantly lower intellectual proficiency. However, in terms of academic qualifications, there was limited evidence that teachers with subject expertise or certification are less likely to leave than teachers with fewer qualifications. There was strong evidence that attrition is greater among middle school and high school teachers than among elementary school teachers, and moderate evidence was found that science and mathematics teachers are more likely to leave their jobs than secondar y school teachers of other subjects. There was strong evidence that teacher attrition is most severe among beginning teachers but that the likelihood of a teacher leaving declines significantly after he or she has been in the classroom for four to five ye ars and then increases again markedly after 25 30 years in the profession. While Allen found that younger women were most likely to leave teaching moderate evidence supported the idea that pregnancy and childrearing were the reasons for departure. In rega rds to t he relationship between teacher attrition and other teacher characteristics, such as socioeconomic status; academic degree; and beliefs, values and attitudes, the literature was inconclusive. When efforts were made to stem teacher attrition, such as creating smaller classes and also inconclusive (Allen, 2005). While t here are many reasons for the continuing mass exodus of teachers route certificatio n programs,
14 resulting in ill prepared teachers; poor working conditions; and low pay) researchers have also longevity (Darling Hammond & Sykes, 2003) Researchers have found that bur nout affects commitment to teaching and contributes to teacher attrition (Billingsley & Cross, 1992; Day, Elliot, & Kingston 2005). Byrne (1999) pointed out that teachers are not just providers of academic instruction ; t hey also undertake multiple roles to meet the needs of a wide range of students. For example, they work in overcapacity classrooms, deal with varied student issues and handle discipline, usually with little or no support from parents and school administrators. Phil lips and Raman (1994 ) point out how damaging stress can be to educators: it is increasing exponentially chaotic homes, peer and gang influences, media impact, etc., all resulting in needier clie nts in schools. Our stress is sometimes expressed outwardly in the form of faculty lounge whining, tears, anger in the classroom, or even violence. Often, stress is less visible resulting in depression, irritability, alcohol abuse, or subtle damage to physical health as in heightened blood pressure (p. iv) Teacher stress is not just an American issue. Studies from Jordan, Greece, Germany, China, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Australia, Slovenia, Canada, and Hong Kong have also examined th e effects of stress on teachers. Negative physical and mental symptoms abound (digestive issues, poor sleeping habits, irritability, etc.) and are very similar despite cultural differences (Montgomery & Rupp, 2005) In 2000, the National Association of Head Teachers in England observed that 40% of teachers reported visiting a physi cian due to a stress related problem during the previous year, 20% believed they drank too much, 15% felt they were alcoholics, while 25% reported suffering from a serious stress related problem such as hypertension, depression, insomnia, and/or gastrointe stinal disorders (Jarvis, 2002).
15 The quality of education suffers when teachers choose to stay despite being burned out (Moore Johnson, 2006). Most teachers enter the profession with high expectations, and are not prepared for the stress inducing exper iences that occur, combined with a lack of support and an overload of work. When burned out, teachers lose confidence in their ability to make a difference. They may minimize their involvement, relinquish their ideals, and treat those they encounter with detachment or coldness and see their work as burdensome (Friedman, 2000). Research has also shown that burnout can spread throughout an organization if teachers discuss organizational or student problems with colleagues and principals (Westman & Ethicon, 1999; Bakker & Schaufeli, 2000). An exploration of emotional intelligence, often called social competence or social emotional skills may reveal this factor can mitigate stress before it becomes burnout. rms and social changes have only added to the stress load teachers experience on a daily basis. Most contemporary educators have not been taught techniques or methods to relieve stress and anxiety in examined in previous studies and emotional intelligence has been explored as a subject in and of itself among different populations, very little has been written about emotional intelligence (EI) as it relates to s may contribute to both areas of research and provide additional insight and information to assist teachers. According to Mayer and Salovey (1997), emotional intelligence is the capacity to reason about emotions and of emotions to enhance thinking; it in volves the ability to perceive accurately, appraise and express emotion; the ability to access and/or generate feelings so as to assist thought; the
16 ability to understand emotion and emotional knowledge; and the ability to regulate emotions to promote emot ional and intellectual growth. (p.10) developed, enhanced, and this can help offset the negative consequences of burnout (Dulewicz & Higgs, 2004). Thus, research in emot ional intelligence and its relationship to teacher burn out has the potential to promote inquiry and problem solving in this area. "Our knowledge and understanding of ourselves, in relation to those around us, can only strengthen our resolve and our vision for the students in our care. Emotional intelligence is the foundation for these relationships and relationships are the foundation Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to determine if there wa s a relationship betw een emotional intelligence and teacher burnout by assessing a sample of Florida teachers using the Mayer Salovey Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) and the Maslach Burnout Inventory Educators Survey (MBIES). Demographic factors, including gender, age, ethnicity, participation in a mentoring program, and years of experience in the classroom and at their current school were also examined to determine if they were causal factors. Research Questions 1. Is there a relationship between emotional intelligenc e and teacher burnout? 2. Is there a relationship between emotional intelligence and teacher characteristics when compared by a) gender, b) age, c) total years experience, d) years experience at the current school, e) participation in a mentoring program, and f) ethnicity? 3. I s there a relationship between burnout and teacher characteristics when compared by a) gender, b) age, c) total years experience, and d) years
17 experience at the current school, e) participation in a mentoring program, and f) ethnicity? 4. Is t here a relationship among the perceived stressors and burnout? 5. Is there a relationship among the perceived stressors and emotional intelligence? Significance of the Study The average cost to recruit, hire, train and lose a teacher is $50,000 (Carroll & Ful ton, 2004). Teacher attrition is not only costly it is disruptive and detrimental to the consequences for children. Research shows that the single most important factor in a and quality depends in large A large percentage of new teachers leave the field within their first five years. Stress has been identified as a significant factor affecting teacher retention (Jarvis, 2002). As Bernshausen and Cu nningham (2001) have observed, i t is of the utmost importance that teachers and their experience and knowledge are retained. Perhaps an even more important recognition is that the attr ition resulting from high levels of stress is indicative of an organizational culture that is not developing resiliency in educators. Teacher attrition, and the burnout that is oftentimes the cause, warrants study. Understanding and assessing the emotion al strengths and needs of teachers by using the MSCEIT may prove beneficial when examined in conjunction with assessments of Educators Survey and compared with other teacher demog raphic characteristics. Many researchers believe that emotional intelligence is learnable (Caruso & Wolf, 2001). The
18 study of emotional intelligence as it relates to teacher burnout may lead to new and better ways to help teachers. Limitations of the S tudy 1. Study participants w ere limited to a convenience sample of teachers in a rural southeast Florida school district, and thus the findings should be considered only within the context of this study. 2. The veracity of the findings w as influenced by particip a nswer MSCEIT and MBI ES questions honestly
19 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Historically, teacher attrition has been addressed with increased efforts to attract and hire new teachers while ignoring the impact of teacher burnout (Ingersol l, 2001). Since teacher burnout has most likely been a contributing factor to teacher turnover, early detection of burnout may help in addressing attrition (Hakanen, Bakker, & Shaufeli, 2006). Although many studies have examined teacher attrition, some r esearchers have recognized the need for a more complete analysis of the impact of teacher burnout on teacher turnover (McCoy, 2003). positively correlates to job performance when the maintenance of positive personal p. 209). When educators are more successful in school and life this enhances their ausen, & Van Tassell, 2001). Teacher Stress Teachers and the stressors they endure have become a topic of growing interest and research, as studies suggest that teachers experience greater levels of stress when compared to other professionals. According to Russell (2000) research on high stress occupational groups includ ing teachers, police officers, politicians, and air traffic controllers demonstrate that these groups a re at high risk of depression serious enough to possibly require therapy. According to Black (2003), stress has become a way of life for teachers, and is the expected norm. It is common knowledge that a high percentage of teachers leave the field early in their careers, but it is difficult to know how many leave due to stress or burnou t. However, studies do suggest that stress and
20 burnout can result in increased teacher attrition (Gersten et al., 2001; Montgomery, & Rupp, 2005). Several stressors have been identified, such as interpersonal demands, inconsistent or a lack of professiona l recognition, dealing with student discipline, or large amounts of paperwork, inadequate resources and time, adapting to change (Kyriacou, 2001), and poor relationships with colleagues and principals (Troman, 2000). Working alone in their classrooms, te achers are often hesitant to seek out help or advice, depending on their school culture. Their work roles often result in professional isolation and occupational stress (Kardos, Johnson, Peske, Kauffman, & Liu, 2001). Long term stress can affect t he phys ical and mental health of teachers Elevated blood pressure, dietary changes, headaches, heart rate and/or hormonal changes, loss of weight, or loss of energy may result, as well as more reports of psychosomatic symptoms (Kyriacou, 2001). Feelings of infe riority, resignation, helplessness, nervousness, depression, and psychosomatic symptoms render these teachers among the most likely to experience long term stress (Bauer. et al. 2006). These stressors may adversely affect the classroom environment and te acher interactions with students and others. Stressed teachers were less task oriented, used less positive reinforcement, were less focused during instruction, and were viewed as less approachable or interested in their students and their well being. Inter personal conflicts with colleagues and parents were also more likely (Israel 2005). Organizational Contributing Factors to Stress Historically, several organizational factors such as inadequate buildings and facilities, (Buckley et al., 2004); salary co nsiderations (T ye & resources, disruptive students (Martin, 2010); and a need for increased administrative
21 climate can also affect teacher stress and morale. Lower teacher commitment and job satisfaction are usually the product of traditional and bureaucratically rigid schools, while less stress occurs in more flexible schools where teachers believe their ideas are valuable and they can contribute positively to school change (Ma & Macmillan, 1999). U rban schools teachers reported more stress and dissatisfaction than rural teachers, primarily due to student discipline and behavior problems (Ingersoll, 2004). R ural teachers may have stressful conditi ons radiating from time dema nds and fewer resources but they were more positive and perceived their conditions, professional recognition, and social support as good (Monk, 2007). Urban teachers viewed their working conditions as worsening, and had more n policies, curricula and academic standards, autonomy, and salaries (Ingersoll, 2004). Increased teacher accountability and high stakes tests have led some teachers to ch take s the enjoyment out of learning and increases stress for teachers and students (Darling Hammond & Sykes, 2003). Also, stress resulted from teaching in schools that were designated as failing (Figlio, 2001). The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 has reinforc ed teacher centered classrooms in many schools conflicting with the aims of student centered learning and restricting pedagogy (Barksdale Ladd & Thomas, 2000; Nieto, 2003). A ccountability is necessary and can be productive and useful to improving teachin g practices and efforts I f carried to the extreme, accountability can lead to increased stress when teachers feel forced to second guess their professional decisions (Jeffrey, 2002), increased teacher demoralization (McNeil, 2000), and increased teacher a ttrition (NCTAF, 2003).
22 From Stress to Burnout has also been studied. According to Schaufeli and Buunk (2003), if they feel that their investments in their students are great er than their expected outcomes, they will have negative emotional, psychological, and professional repercussions. These negative consequences grow in proportion to how demanding teachers perceive their jobs to be (Demrouti, Bakker, Nachreiner & Schaufeli, 2001). According to Lazarus and Folkman (1984 ment that is appraised by the person as taxing or exceeding his or her resources and endangering his or her well is seen as a stresso r, ( p.19). then this stressor, whether real or perceived, is viewed as taxing and detrimental. Strain is a possible negative consequence of stress (Schaufeli & Bakker, 2004). While some teachers can handle stress, to others frequent or prolonged periods u nder stress and the resulting strain may produce feelings of emotional exhaustion, a reduction in personal accomplishment, a sense of professional failure, and a tendency to depersonalize the recipient of services (Schaufeli & Buunk, 2003). Burnout has al so been described as a negative result of a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion that results from long 2001, p. 501). When the daily roles of teachers are observed, the reasons that they experience burnout become clear er Teachers try to resolve student discipline issues while teaching large classes comprised of students with varied needs, learning styles, and levels of functioning often recei ving conflicting or competing input from the public and administrators (Croom, 2003). Also contributing to teacher burnout are organizational
23 stressors relating to workload and role stress such as u nclear and inconsistent policies pertaining to student beh aviors, and adjusting curricula and schedules to accommodate changing government mandates. The perception of not being appreciated by students, parents, administrators, and the general public also contributes to teacher burnout (Sava, 2002). Burnout an d its Effects on School Culture According to Farber (1991), even though stress and burnout may plague other more stressed and burned out than other professionals. It is to teachers that we entrust 44). Teacher burnout should be considered critically importan t physical health, emotional well being and an inability to consider innovativ e classroom practices. Teachers who are resilient and confident in their abilities to teach tend to modify or adjust interventions so that they are constructive, thoughtful, and in the best interest of students (Patterson, Collins, & Abbott, 2004). When a teacher experiences burnout, the goal is just to survive the day ( Friedman, 2000 ). This does not go unnoticed because students sense when teachers are burned out and they must endure the result : Interactions wi th colleagues and parents are also impacted. Educators experiencing stress have been described as more cynical, less flexible, more likely to experience interpersonal conflicts with colleagues. Additional conflict leads to feelings of social inadequacy and isolation (Gaitan, 2009). Teachers who suffer from burnout may spread their negativity by behaving rigidly, showing an overly tough attitude towards their students, expecting less from students, demonstrating less involvement in
24 teaching, and showing lit tle concern for their students (Hughes, 2001). Wiley (2000) reports that teachers who experience chronic feelings of emotional exhaustion and diminishing job accomplishments. these feelings are aspects of stress and often result in absenteeism, which may lead to student absenteeism and a lack of academic Unfortunately, teachers who become burned out or feel that they are not making a difference do not ne cessarily seek help or quit but sometimes remain in (Dworkin, 2001). While high achieving teachers take on additional roles and responsibilities to benefit schools and students, researc hers have shown that there is a correlation between additional roles, responsibilities, and burnout (Talmor, et al., 2005 ) ). Stress is a negative factor in many cases, but for others, it caused them to work harder or to excel in their endeavors (Sheesley, 2001). Thus, it is important to distinguish among individuals' characteristics, traits or abilities that make stress a positive or negative experience. Burnout and Teacher Characteristics The review of literature revealed that there is no consensus in reg ards to years of experience and how it might relate to teacher burnout. Some studies showed that younger, less experienced teachers experience more alienation, powerlessness and stress (Black, 2001; Ingersoll, 2001; Hanushek, Kain, & Rivkin, 2002). Howeve r, other studies reported that burnout was less likely among those with very little experience and quite extensive among th ose with 24 years or more experience (Leithwood, Jantzi, & epict the rate of
25 decreased during the middle years and rose again towards the last years (2001). are problem solving and an oversimplification of how to relay academic content knowledge may lead them to become discouraged, and to a belief that they are ineffective. Sal amanca (2005) found that teachers who have a firmly established core of beliefs and practices experience greater success and contentment. In a study conducted with a sample of Queensland Australia, first year teachers, Goddard (2006) found that pre servi ce education might be predictive of burnout. In a sample of 100 teachers participants, this study showed that there was a significant relationship among teachers who completed less than four years of pre service teacher education, their emotional exhausti on and depersonalization scores as measured by the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) Along these same lines, when novice teachers evaluated their undergraduate education training as inadequate to meet their rigorous instructional demands they reported disc ouragement, feelings of inadequacy, and finally, burnout (Taris, LeBlanc & Schaufeli et al 2005). Overall, however, female teachers tend to be more satisfied with teaching than males and, elementary teachers report less stress than secondary teachers (B lack, 2001). Special education teachers have the highest attrition rate : four of ten will leave the field before their fifth year of teaching. Their attrition result ed in hiring under qualified personnel and had other negative repercussions due to the decr eased quantity
26 and quality of services provided to students with exceptional needs (Council for Exceptional Children, 2000). The History of Emotional Intelligence A precursor to emotional intelligence w as intelligences Although it was not among the seven intelligences Gardner identified, however, he described two personal intelligences (intrapersonal and interpersonal) that inv the interpersonal intelligence looks outward, toward the behavior, feelings, and 241). intelligence, were the first emotions, to discriminate among them and to use that informat capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in oursel ves and in our rel 317). emotional balance, maintain a positive attitude when confronted by frustrations and elle & Bell, 1997, p. 2). Cooper and Sawaf (1997) described a four cornerstone model of emotional intelligence which include s emotional literacy, emotional fitness, emotional depth, and emotional alchemy. Emotional literacy builds a core of personal effic acy through developing emotional honesty, awareness, feedback, intuition, and connections.
27 believability, and resilience, while also improving abilities in listening an d managing conflict. The third cornerstone, emotional depth, assists individuals in aligning life and work with their specific potentials and purposes, and by having integrity, commitment, oblem solving capabilities, using pressure and emotions to find and explore hidden solutions and opportunities. Emotional intelligence studies and varied approaches have led to different opinions as to what and how to study EI. There are all encompassing models that focus on personality (introversion and extroversion), motivational abilities (achievement orientation) or cognitive abilities (problem solving), and specific models that examine cognitive factors (social judgment, emotional perception). Some ap proaches overlap the two, by attempting to decode nonverbal information or interpret emotions (Hedlund & Sternberg, 2000). with general intelligences at the top, verbal and spa tial next, and then more specific p. 172). Emotional intelligence may be useful and quantifiable represent an overall emotional abili ty, according to Salovey and Mayer (1990). They further proposed that assessing core abilities in terms of processes, behaviors and has followed: the cognitive model or the trait or personality model (some researchers
28 ability model was the first model to be proposed, and has received the most rigorous testing of any model of emotional int elligence to date (Mayer & Salovey, 2004). Trait or personality models (or mixed), encapsulate a host of skills, essentially encompassing personality. In terms of the Bar On model, created by Reuven Bar On, these skills include self regard, emotional self awareness, assertiveness, independence, self actualization, empathy, social responsibility, interpersonal relationship, stress tolerance, impulse control, reality testing, flexibility, problem solving, optimism, and happiness (Okech, 2004). The Bar On mode l describes EI as a cross section of these interrelated emotional and social competencies and skills that impact intelligent behavior. Along with these models are two different types of assessments: self report and performance assessments (Cornell, 2003). Self reporting focuses and is related to personality traits (as included by Goleman), specifically the factors that make up the Big Five factor model (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism). Performance measures of EI are m ore aligned with traditional intelligence tests and measurements (Ciarrochi, Chan, Caputi & Roberts, 2001). According to Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso, EI meets three criteria, which are standard for a traditional intelligence test. First, EI test items are operationalized in such a way that there are correct answers; second, EI shows specific patterns of correlations similar to those of known intelligences; and lastly, EI should develop with age (Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso, 2004). Emotional Intelligence and De mographic Factors Just as traditional assessments of intelligence show some improvement with age, research with the Mayer Salovey Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) shows similar and significant increases in emotional intelligence as individual s a ge (Mayer,
29 Salovey & Caruso, 1999). Current statistics on the MSCEIT show significant gender differences. Women outperform men in emotional intelligence in total scores and area scores, including perceiving and identifying emotions, facilitating thought us ing emotions, and understanding emotions. The only area where women did not outperform men were in managing emotions (Mayer et al., 1999). The Bar On model also showed t hat older individuals are emotionally and socially more intelligent than younger ones, that women are more aware of emotions than men, with the caveat that men are more adept at managing emotions (Bar On, 2006). Developing Emotional Intelligence Educators have a vested interest in developing Emotional Intelligence because it may have a posit ive effect on the organizational relationships: work group cohesion, employee performance, organizational commitment, and organizational citizenship ( Carmeli, 2003 ). According to Elias and Arnold ( 2006 ), school success is a combination of academic achievem ent and social competence. They report that the most successful middle schools have teachers, administrators, and students trained in social, emotional, and academic needs. Also, Gohm, Corser, and Dalsky (2004) found that EI was positively related to stres s management among college students that closely attended to their emotions and/or intellectualized their feelings. In meta analysis of emotional intelligence and performance Elfenbein, Der Foo, White and Tan (2007) found that Emotion Recognition Accurac y predicted a modest but significant and consistent rise in workplace effectiveness for a diverse group of professionals studied, including physicians, teachers, principals, and business lls. According to
30 involved with social emotional learning. When children learn about effective and flexible problem solving in the classroom but see their parents and admini strators fighting in rigid, problematic ways, classroom Salovey (2006, p. 173). However, they point out that one cannot assume that all emotional abilities share the same capacity for development, or that no studies have explored the effects of a training program on the development of specific emotional abili ties (2006). While a proven training program created specifically for enhancing EI has not been eam learning, undertaking projects, increasing job scope and self directed learning like reading and mentoring, for example, suggest that certain emotional abilities may be learned or developed. The processes and systems that work along with participation in the accompanying social groups and reflection and dialogue result in tacit lear ning (Boud & Garrick, 1999; Clarke, 2004). Evidence shows that team based learning activities may be effective in developing emotional abilities, such as in using emotio ns to facilitate thought and abilities to perceive emotions (Moriarty & Buckley, 2003). groups (hospice employees) indicated that their self efficacy in dealing with their own emotions and those of others was improved a s a direct result of learning how to develop coping skills and manage emotion and anxiety in the context of their jobs. Discussions and taking time to reflect upon their work experiences with other hospice employees
31 was seen as of the utmost importance in their professional growth and development. In a study of mental health nurses, Akerdordet and Severinsson (2004) reported that EI was highly significant, and that informal learning was the primary means by which EI abilities were developed. Dialogue and r eflection were important vehicles in improving how nurses coped with their feelings and how they revealed and managed their own limited. However, the aforementioned stu dies show that if emotional intelligence can be developed, it is more likely to occur informally and in the workplace rather than as a stand alone training program.
32 C HAPTER 3 METHODS The purpose of this study was to examine the correlations between emotio nal intelligence and teacher burnout by assessing a sample of rural Florida teachers using the Mayer Salovey Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) and the Maslach Burnout Inventory Educators Survey (MBIES). Demographic factors, including gender, age, years of experience in the classroom, years of experience at the current school, race/ethnicity, and participation in a mentoring program, were also examined to assess any impact they may have. I n this chapter the setting and participants precede a discu ssion of the theoretical framework for the methods. Next, an overview of the instrumentation, data collection, and data analysis are presented. Setting This study was conducted in a rural public school district in southwest Florida. Four towns comprise th e district; the average household income is $26,595. Four elementary schools, three middle schools (including one charter school), two high schools, one middle/high school combination, two K 8 schools (one is a charter school), one K 12 school, and one mi ddle/high alternative school, or 14 schools with approximately 6,600 students comprise this district. Minorities accounted for 35% of the student population, free or reduced students comprised 52% while students with disabilities total ed 17%. The distr ict employs 424 teachers, 68 male and 356 female; 79% of the teachers are white. The average teacher has 14 years of teaching experience. In terms of teacher attrition, the district replaces approximately 60 classroom teachers or 14%
33 annually. Of the 12 Convenience sampling was used in the selection of the school district and the four elementary schools that comprised this study While McMillan and Schumacher (2006) point out that researchers need to be wary of convenience samples, they concede that if the primary purpose of the research is to better understand relationships rather than to generalize, probabi lity sampling may be unnecessary. Participants Selection of participants was done through convenience sampling resulting in 96 individuals, more than the minimum of 30 suggested for correlation research (Creswell, 2008). Prior to the study, permission wa s obtained from the district and individual school Institutional Review Board (IRB). Following the receipt of IRB approval, the researcher sought permission from the dist rict, individual school administrators and the potential participants, the teachers. Teacher selection was determined by an individual's classification as a classroom teacher. In this district, several professionals were categorized as teachers, but may ha ve served in different capacities at their schools such as reading coaches or teachers on special assignment (TSA). Recruitment of participants took place at school faculty meetings in the district where this study was conducted. Teachers from each of the four school s were asked to participate in this study at the conclusion of one of their monthly faculty meetings. Drawings for mall gift cards were offered as an incentive at each school site to maximize participation. Participants remained anonymous to en sure their confidentiality
34 The four elementary schools from which participations were solicited provided a teacher population of 170. Of th ose, 96 teacher s elected to participate in this study (a response rate of 56.47%). Thirty four participants were classified as veteran teachers (16 or more years), 20 were very experienced (10 15 years), 22 were experienced (4 9 years), and 17 were newer to the profession (0 3 years). Three teachers did not provide their years of experience. Among this sample, 30 tea chers were new or relatively new to the school (0 3 years), 26 had been teaching at their current school for between four and nine years, 13 had been teaching at the same site for 10 15 years, and 24 had been teaching at the school for 16 years or more. Th ree teachers did not respond. Sixty eight teachers had taken part in a mentoring program as a beginning teacher, while 25 had not. T hree teachers did not indicate if they had participated in a mentoring program. Most participants (n=84, 88%) were white, w hile six (6%) were black and six (6%) were Hispanic participants. The sample was comprised primarily of women (n=9 1 9 5 %) while there were five ( 5 %) males. Theoretical Framework for the Methods O bjectivism i s a philosophy that aims at achieving knowledge about the natural world. Objectivist studies are grounded by a belief that individuals can translate perception (i.e., awareness acquired through the senses) into valid concepts that are observable or measurable facets of reality (Locke, 2006) A central g oal of this study was to demonstrate the existence or non existence of a relationship between the participants' emotional intelligence (EI) and their levels of burnout. Positivism grounds this study because of its emphasis on seeking empirical regularities that is, correlations between two variables. These relationships do not need to be causal in nature; just identifying relationships lays the foundation for developing laws and making predictions
35 ( ChangingMinds 2008). If there is a relationship between E I and teacher burnout, then efforts can be made to help teachers. Instrumentation The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) has been in use for over 20 years Th ere are three versions of the MBI: the original, which was MBI HS S (Human Services Survey), the MBI GS (General Survey), and the survey used in this study, the MBI ES (Educators Survey). The only difference between the original MBI, HSS and the MBI ES survey items clear and consistent. These changes did nothing to diminish the validity or reliability of the instrument (Schaufeli & Buunk, 2003). The Maslach Burnout Inventory Educators Survey consists of 22 items across three subscales: emotional exhaust ion (9 items), depersonalization (5 items), and lack of a sense of personal accomplishment (8 items). The emotional exhaustion subscale work. The depersonalization subscale (DE P) assesses an impersonal response toward measures feelings of competence and success in working with people. Burnout is considered a continuous variable, ranging from low, to m oderate, to high levels of feeling. Participants rate the frequency of these feelings using a 7 point scale, ranging Reliability of the MBI (n=1,316). Reliability coefficients for the subscales were .90 for EE, .79 for DEP, and
36 .71 for PA (Maslach et al., 1996). Test retest reliability for the subscales us ed five samples .82 for EE, .60 for DEP, and .80 for PA. All were significant beyond the .001 lev el (Maslach et al., 1996). Validity of the MBI While the three factors of burnout (EE, DEP, and PA) were identified in the initial developmental research through principal component analyses, other studies have also U s ing a confirmatory factors analys i s Lee and Ashforth (1993) found that there are three subscales. They also observed that EE and DEP were distinct factors but highly correlated, and that both EE and DEP were more highly correlated with measures of psy chological strain than was PA. However, PA was more closely related to control coping skills (p. 11). The MSCEIT 2.0 The MSCEIT is unique among EI measures because it meets several standard criteria in measuri ng EI as a new intelligence. Emotional intelligence is operationalized as a set of abilities; it is objective since answers on the test are either right or wrong as compared to a predetermined consensus or expert scoring; its scores correlate with existing intelligences but also show separate variance; and scores increase with age (Mayer, Caruso, & Salovey, 1999; Mayer et al., 2002). The MSCEIT is a 141 item performance scale that measures how well people perform EI tasks rather than asking the m for their own assessment of their emotional sensitivity. Responses to the MSCEIT represent the actual ability to solve emotional problems. Scores are relatively unaffected by self concept, emotional state, and other confounding variables. The MSCEIT prov ides 15 main scores: a total EI score, two area scores (Experimental Emotional
37 Intelligence score and Strategic Emotional Intelligence score), four branch scores (perceiving emotions, facilitating thought, understanding emotions, and managing emotions), ei ght task scores (faces task, pictures task, sensations task, facilitation task, blends task, changes task, emotion management task, emotional relations task) and three supplemental scores (scatter score and positive negative bias score). Reliability of t he MSCEIT The MSCEIT scores are highly reliable for the overall EI and branch scores. The coefficient alpha reliability scores is .90 for overall EI (n=945), .87 for perception (n=1211), .76 for facilitation (n=1500), .73 for understanding (n=1561) and .82 for retest reliability is r =.86 (n=60) (Brackett & Mayer, 2003). Validity of the MSCEIT The MSCEIT is designed to measure EI as defined by Mayer and Salovey and reportedly has good face validity (Ma yer et al., 1999: Pusey, 2000). In terms of structural validity, the MSCEIT matches the theory proposed by Mayer and Salovey (1997) and does measure the four branches of emotional intelligence. Factor analyses revealed an unrotated factor on which all the tasks loaded above r=.10, and usually at fairly high levels between r =.30 80. This indicates a general factor of emotional intelligence, or Data Collection Both the MSCEIT and the MBI ES are self administered and include instructions. A research constructed questionnaire requesting demographic data, such as gender, age, experience, and subject area was also given to participants. Participants completed both instruments and the questionnaire either at the conclusion of a faculty
38 meeting, or sent completed materials to the researcher via interschool mail. The research er wrote identification codes on the inventories so that participants could access individual results. After providing each school with a list of results by i dentification codes, the code list with participant names was destroyed to protect Data Analysis The MBI ES was hand scored. Scores from the MSCEIT were entered into the MSCEIT online database to be analyzed by MHS (Multiple Hea lth Solutions). Raw data for both scales were imported and analyzed using SAS (Statistical Analysis System) A frequency table was created for burnout levels for the sample and cross tabulations for gender, age, race, experience, mentoring, and burnout lev els was compiled. Based upon the range of the results, h igh moderate and low levels of emotional intelligence w ere identified To determine relationships between EI and burnout, a Spearman correlation w as calculated to determine the level of statistical significance (p=.05). Correlations between the MCEIT subscales and the MBI ES subscales were calculated for the sample, and a multiple regression analysis was computed to determine the amount of variance predicted by EI scores and subscales. An NPARIWAY P rocedure was computed for variables to predict emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment. MBI ES burnout and MCEIT Wilcoxon Two Sample tests were calculated for veteran versus new teachers; for EI and MBI ES burnout as a function of gender; for EI and MBI ES burnout as a function of age; for EI and MBI ES burnout as a function of race; for EI and MBI ES burnout as a function of tenure; for EI and MBI ES
39 burnout as a function of tenure at the same school, and for EI and MBI ES burn out as a function of mentoring. Variables This study examined relationships between emotional intelligence, as assessed by the MSCEIT and teacher burnout as assessed by the MBI ES. Specifically, this study identified and disaggregated the relationship bet ween emotional intelligence and burnout by the following independent variables: 1. Gender, a categorical variable 2. Current age, a continuous variable 3. Teaching experience, a continuous variable, but for the purposes of this study, the number of years of experie nce were grouped into three categories to control for a small number of scores falling outside of the normal grouping. The groups are 0 3, 4 9, and 10 and above 4. Teaching experience at the current school, a categorical variable 5. Race/Ethnicity, a categorical variable 6. Mentored as a new teacher, a categorical variable Teacher responses to open ended questions regarding what they perceived as stress inducing were analyzed and categorized thematically. Null Hypotheses The following hypotheses were tested in this study: H1: There is no relationship between emotional intelligence and teacher burnout. H2: There is no relationship between emotional intelligence and teacher characteristics when compared by a) gender, b) age, c) teaching experience d) teaching exper ience at the current school, e) race/ethnicity, and f) mentoring. H3 : There is no relationship between burnout and teacher characteristics when compared by a) gender, b) age, c) te aching experience and d) te aching experience at the current school, e) rac e/ethnicity, and f) mentoring. H4: There is no relationship among the perceived stressors of participants and burnout.
40 H5: There is no relationship among the perceived stressors of participants and emotional intelligence.
41 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS The results of this study are presented following each research question. Research Question 1) Is there a relationship between emotional intelligence and teacher burnout? The findings showed that there is no relationship between emotional intelligence and teacher bur nout. Results of the analysis of the Spearman Rho test results are presented in table 4 1. Table 4 1 Spearman Correlations for Emotional Intelligence and Burnout (n =94) Spearman Correlation Coefficients Prob > |r| under H0: Rho=0 Number of Observations BURNOUT Depersonalization Emotional Exhaustion Personal Accomplishment TOTAL EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE SCORE 0.01601 0.8783 0.07977 0.4447 0.20161 0.0513 EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCING (Subscore 1) 0.06659 0.5237 0.05565 0.5942 0.19913 0.0543 Perceiving Emotions (Sect.1) 0.10533 0.3123 0.01536 0.8832 0.18116 0.0806 Using Emotions (Sect.2) 0.00135 0.9897 0.05216 0.6176 0.19315 0.0621 EMOTIONAL REASONING (Subscore 2) 0.06080 0.5605 0.04751 0.6493 0.11531 0.2684 Understanding Emotions (Sect.1 ) 0.02698 0.7963 0.07843 0.4524 0.06436 0.5377 Managing Emotions (Sect.2) 0.07337 0.4822 0.02603 0.8034 0.15118 0.1458 MSCEIT scores are normed standard scores with a Mean=100 (SD = 15). In general, enhanced emotional intelligence scores are 115 or above, scores between 85
42 and 115 indicate moderate or average emotional intelligence, and scores below 85 suggest that emotional intelligence needs development. Based on the EI scores of the participants, four could be categorized as having high EI, 59 had average EI, and 33 had low EI. The mean of total EI was 87.043 with a standard deviation of 12.592. Scores ranged from 54.090 to 107.261. The two categories that comprise total EI, emotional experiencing and emotional reasoning, had means of 93.412 and 84.847 respectively. Table 4 2 includes descriptive statistics for EI and its categories and subcategories. Table 4 2 Descriptive Statistics of Emotional Intelligence M SD N Min Max Total EI 87.043 12.592 96 54.090 107.261 Experiencing 93.412 13.3 91 96 56.988 120.621 Perceiving subcat.1 94.140 12.528 96 44.672 114.854 Using subcat.2 92.311 13.290 96 55.829 116.802 Reasoning 84.847 10.539 96 37.318 100.749 Understanding subcat.1 87.877 10.502 96 51.514 113.177 Managing Subcat.2 86.443 11.39 9 96 49.811 107.897 The Maslach Burnout Inventory scores are comprised of the scores of three categories: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment. For emotional exhaustion, a score of 27 or higher indicated high levels of em otional fatigue. Scores of 17 26 revealed moderate emotional exhaustion, and 0 16 indicated a low risk. Teachers experiencing a high level of depersonalization had scores of 13 or greater, moderate scores were 7 12, and low risk scores were in the 0 6 ran ge. A score of 32 or less indicated a low degree of personal accomplishment; a score of 32 38 suggested moderate feelings of personal accomplishment, and scores of 39 and higher revealed high personal accomplishment. While high scores in emotional exhausti on and
43 accomplishment do the same. The study participants were relatively evenly distributed in the subscale of emotional exhaustion; 32 showed high emotional exhaustion 34 had moderate levels, and 28 had low levels. Depersonalization levels varied greatly as eight participants had high risk levels, 10 were at moderate risk levels, and 76 demonstrated low risk levels. Personal accomplishment scores showed that nine parti cipants scored low (revealing low levels of personal accomplishment), 11 were in the moderate category, w hile 74 had high scores, indicating high levels of personal accomplishment. The mean score for depersonalization was 5.425 S cores ranged from 0 to 21. The mean score for emotional exhaustion was 23.297 with a minimum score of 0 and a maximum score of 49. Personal accomplishment had a mean of 39.819 and a range of 24 to 48. Table 4 3 includes descriptive statistics for the three subscales of the Masla ch Burnout Inventory taken by participants. Table 4 3 Descriptive Statistics for Burnout Mean SD N Min Max Depersonalization 5.425 5.091 94 0 21 Emotional Exhaustion 23.297 10.815 94 0 49 Personal Accomplishment 39.819 5.591 94 24 48 Research Quest ion 2) Is there a relationship between emotional intelligence and teacher characteristics? The relationship between emotional intelligence and teacher characteristics was significant in regards to two different teacher characteristics and one category and one sub category of emotional intelligence, Chi Square=5.22, p< .05, so the null hypothesis must be rejected. In terms of the teacher characteristic gender, m ales (n =5) score d higher than females (n =91) in the EI sub category of percei ving
44 emotions Resul ts of the Kruskal Wallis Test are presented in Table 4 3. There was also a significant relationship between emotional intelligence and the teacher characteristic of R ace/ethnicity. Table 4 4 shows that W hites (n =84) scored higher on the experiential EI cat egory of the MSCEIT, meaning that they were able to both perceive and utilize emotions more often than African Americans (n=6) and Hispanics (n =6), Chi Square = 7.11, p< .05. The mean EI score for males was 105.30 (SD = 8.086) the mean score for females was 93.529 (SD = 12.470). Females' scores ranged from 45 to 115 while males compared scores ranged from 92 to112 as seen in Table 4 5. Regarding differences in race/ethnicity, the mean score for whites and total emotional intelligence is 88.34 (SD = 11. 68). The mean score for whites in the subcategory of EI, experiencing emotions, was 94.8 9. F or EI and reasoning it was 85.51 with standard deviations of 12.61 and 10.22 respectively. (Tables 4 6 and 4 7) Research Question 3) Is there a relationship betwee n burnout and teacher characteristics? Teachers with 1 6 years or more of experience ha d significantly higher levels of personal accomplishment (one of the burnout subscales) when compared to those participants who h ad been teaching fewer than 1 6 years (Ch i Square=11.44, p< .05). The results of this analysis are shown in Table 4 8. There were no other significant relationships between MBI subscales and gender, race/ethnicity or age. Research Question 4) Is there a relationship among the perceived stressors and b urnout? The relationship between emotional exhaustion (one subscale of burnout) and the participant generated stressors wa s significant (rho= .294, p< .05.). The more stressors
45 Table 4 4 Emotional Intelligence and Teacher Characteristics Teach er Char. Total EI Cat.1: Experiencing EI Sub.Cat.1: Perceiving EI Sub.Cat.2: Using EI Cat. 2: Reasoning With EI Sub.Cat.1: Underst an d in g EI Sub. Cat.2: Managing EI Chi Square p value Chi Square p value Chi Square p value Chi Square p value Ch i Square p value Chi Square p value Chi Square p value Gender 0.325 0.569 0.305 0.5807 5.216 0.022* 0.446 0.504 0.343 0.350 0.638 0.645 0.280 0.287 Race/ Ethnicity 4.696 0.096 7.113 0.0285* 5.595 0.061 3.277 0.194 2.70 0.259 3.531 0.171 1.853 0.396 Tenure 1.302 0.729 2.377 0.4980 4.765 0.190 0.526 0.913 2.059 0.560 2.666 0.446 2.844 0.416 Tenure at same School 2.430 0.488 3.323 0.3444 2.261 0.520 3.239 0.356 1.649 0.648 3.438 0.328 2.581 0.460 Mentoring 0.003 0.959 0.001 0.9931 0.417 0.519 0.166 0.684 0.211 0.646 0.602 0.438 0.006 0.938 Corr. Coeff. p value Corr. Coeff. p value Corr. Coeff. p value Corr. Coeff. p value Corr. Coeff. p value Corr. Coeff. p value Corr. Coeff. p value Age 0.096 0.352 0.090 0.385 0.047 0.646 0.089 0.387 0.07 9 0.442 0.139 0.177 0.033 0.751 denotes significant at Table 4 5 Descriptive Statistics for Emotional Intelligence (Perceiving) and Gender Mean SD N Min Max Males 105.30 8.086 5 91.621 112.10 Females 93.529 12.470 91 44.673 114.90 Table 4 6. Descriptive Statistics for Emotional Inte lligence (Experiencing) and Race/Ethnicity Mean SD N Min Max White 94.89 12.610 84 63.43 120.62 Black 77.87 73.711 6 56.99 101.11 Hispanic 88.21 12.642 6 70.18 105.73 Table 4 7 Descriptive Statistics for Emotional Intelligence (Reasoning) and Race/Ethnicity Mean SD N Min Max White 85.51 10.22 84 37.32 100.75 Black 79.17 15.84 6 63.24 98.79 Hispanic 81.27 8.08 6 69.43 94.24
46 a participant listed, the more emotionally exhausted he or she was ( Table 4 8). The mean for the stressors was 1.3 96 (SD = 1.209). The range for the number of stressors listed by participants was zero to four. There was no relationship between the areas or type of stressor(s) and overall burnout. Table 4 8 Chi Square and Spearman Analy sis between Burnout and Teach er Characteristics Teacher Characteristics Depersonalization Emotional Exhaustion Personal Accomplishment Chi Square p value Chi Square. p value Chi Square p value Gender 1.859 0.179 0.385 0.392 0.993 1.0 Race/ Ethnicity 4.250 0.119 2.577 0.276 0.571 0.752 Tenure 5.021 0.170 1.556 0.669 11.444 0.010* Tenure at same school 0.918 0.821 4.500 0.212 7.717 0.052 Mentoring 0.661 0.416 0.235 0.628 1.115 0.291 Corr. coef. p value Corr.coef. p value Corr.coef. p value Age 0.115 0.274 0.051 0.621 0.086 0 .409 Table 4 9 Spearman Correlations for Teacher Reported Stressors and Burnout Burnout Categories Sum of Stressors Corr. coef. p value Depersonalization 0.032 0.757 Emotional Exhaustion 0.294 0.004* Personal Accomp lishment 0.007 0.946 Teachers were given the opportunity to identify work stressors. Specifically, four percent (n=90) of the teachers provided a comment, resulting in a total of 166 comments. Seventy seven or 46% including comments about increasing amounts of paperwork with less time to complete it, a lac k of equipment and needed training, and a lack of materials. Thirty one comments or 19% mentioned instructional disruptions as stressful. These disruptions
47 were comprised of instructional interruptions due to off task or apathetic behavior by students and by outside disruptions that negatively impacted classroom instruction. Pressures from the state, district, and required testing also were cited, resulting in 36 (22%) of the comments. Many comments r eferred to low teacher morale (n =22), which pertained to low pay, a lack of parent interest, and feelings that other teachers were not contributing to student achievement efforts (Figure 4 1 and Table 4 10). Figure 4 1. Participant Generated Stressors Table 4 10 Frequency of Participant Stressors Individual St ressors Lack of Resources Disruptions Pressure Morale Student apathy/disruptions 0 27 0 0 Paperwork overload 47 0 0 0 Not enough time for anything 27 0 0 0 Testing pressure 0 0 6 0 Pressure from state 0 0 13 0 Low morale/respect 0 0 0 2 Low pa y 0 0 0 3 District interference/pressure 0 0 17 0 Lacking materials/training/equipment 3 0 0 0 Parental issues/lack of interest 0 0 0 15 Co worker issues 0 0 0 2 Instructional disruptions 0 4 0 0 Totals 77 31 36 22
48 Research Question 5) Is there a r elationship among the perceived stressors and emotional intelligence? There was a significant relationship between perceived stressors and total EI and perceived stressors and the EI subcategory, using emotions. The more stressors a participant listed, the lower that participant s resulting total EI scores (Rho=.216, p < .05). Also, the more stressors listed, the lower abilities to use emotions to do c ertain tasks (Rho.234, p< .05) (Table 4 1 1) Table 4 11. Relationship b etween Number of Teach er reported Stressors and EI EI Categories Sum of Stressors Corr. Coef. p value Total EI 0.2166 0.0340* Experiencing 0.1993 0.0516 Sub.cat.:Using 0.2343 0.0215* Sub.cat.: Perceiving 0.0784 0.4476 Reasoning 0.1560 0.1290 Sub.cat.:Understa nding 0.1291 0.2099 Sub.cat.:Managing 0.1679 0.1020
49 CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSI ONS This chapter presents the summary of findings regarding to what extent EI is related to occupational burnout in a group of elementary teachers, implications of the findings, and recom mendations for further research. The MSCEIT and the Maslach Burnout survey were given to 96 teachers from four elementary schools in a rural compared by various demographic fac tors (gender, age, years of teaching experience years of teaching experience at the current school, race/ethnicity, and mentoring participation) to determine if any relationship existed. Teachers were also asked to list work related stressors. Stressors w ere categorized and compared with burnout and emotional intelligence to determine if there were significant relationships. Summary of Findings Emotional Intelligence and Burnout than a third indicated high levels of emotional exhaustion (scores >27), there was no reported burnout. This could be due to what the majority of the participants viewed as t heir biggest stressor: a lack of resources ( n =77). The stressors (too much paperwork, and a lack of time, mater i als, training, or equipment) that comprise this group do not revolve around person to person contact or interactions so it is unlikely that hav ing lower EI was related to their levels of burnout.
50 Emotional Intelligence and Teacher Characteristics Th e results showed that there was a significant relationship between gender and one subcategory of emotional intelligence perceiving emotions Males (n =5) perceived emotions more accurately than females in this study (n =91). This finding may be due to an increased need to accurately perceive emotions, resulting from their status at their current school. Four of the five male participants were new to th eir school (0 3 years). Thus they could be making extra efforts to accurately and effectively communicate and interact with students, parents, and staff members to ensure their retention and tenure. It is also worth noting that four of the five male par ticipants taught at a pre kindergarten through 2nd grade school, so teachers at this school might develop stronger skills relating to perception and communication out of necessity to understand and be understood by very young students. Klasssen and Chiu (2 010) found that teachers of very young children, specifically lower elementary and kindergarten, had higher levels of self efficacy for classroom management and student engagement. The sample sizes for males, African American, and Hispanics were dispropor tionately small in regard to the overall number of participants sampled. Because large samples were not available and because the homogeneity and normal sample distribution could not be assumed in this study, non parametric tests were used. Non parametric statistical tests are appropriately used in these circumstances. Burnout and Teacher Characteristics Teachers with more overall teaching experience had significantly higher scores in regards to their feelings of personal accomplishment when compared to te achers with fewer years of experience This is in line with several studies that support the idea of increased self efficacy or accomplishment among career teachers (those with four or
51 more years of experience) over novice teachers (those with three or few er years of experience (Tschannen Moran & Hoy, 2007; Meister & Melnick, 2003). Teacher confidence and resiliency increase with experience, and teacher growth and competence can best be achieved with successful and authentic mastery experiences (Yost, 2006 ). Perceived Stressors and Burnout There was also a significant relationship between the number of perceived stressors participants listed and their level of emotional exhaustion one of the burnout subscales Ninety four percent of participants listed at least one stressor negatively affecting their efforts. Sixty percent of all participants listed two or more stressors, and of those seventeen percent listed three or more stressors. In addition to the stressors that the teachers offered on the demographi c questionnaire, there could be other factors that contribute to stress, such as organizational issues or concern s related to the school culture. Organizational factors contributing to burnout Schools should be improvement and growth. The state and federal approach to accountability is mandated student testing and the implementation of progress monitoring. The se ever intensifying state and federal accountability efforts aimed at improving student achievement coul d be among the driving forces behind the large number of stressors, such as Response to Intervention (involving significant documentation and planning for those students not performing at grade level) No Child Left Behind (requiring regular/documented fol low up with parents of below grade level students, tutoring students who attend Title I schools and paperwork required for school choice transfer options), and the implementation of the next generation Sunshine State
52 Standards (that must now be aligned wit h the achievement standards of other states) resources to implement at each school site. Tight deadlines for implementation and a top down approach to new initiatives and pr ofessional development can create feelings of helplessness and resentment among teachers (Calabrese, 2006). Linn (2001) states that unintended negative results from accountability mandates sometimes overshadow positive ones. Studies in North Carolina, Texa s, Ohio, Kentucky and Maryland have pointed out that accountability has increased teacher stress (McNeil, 2000 ; Jones et al., 1999; Abrams et al., 2003 ). Specifically, 85% of Texas teachers surveyed by Hoffman, Assaf, and Paris (2001) agreed with the stat leaving the f iel d because of TAAS (Texas Assessment of Academic Skills)" (p.485). Schools that emphasize incentives and opportunities for teacher learning and inquiry, teacher capacity for leadership in innovation, a flexible school structure, a responsive and supportive administration, regulatory flexibility, and sufficient time and resources, truly impact student learning by continuously improving and adjusting the pedagogical and organizational structures used (An cess, 2000). Burnout and school culture A healthy school culture is one that is inviting, welcoming of change, and cooperative in nature, with leadership that supports and is committed to sustaining deep learning (Hargreaves & Fink, 2004). Burned out o r overly displaying helplessness, cynicism, discouragement, and resistance to change or innovation (Neves de Jesus & Lens, 2005). The resulting teacher attrition can d isrupt a
53 systemic problems in the school community (Ingersoll, 2003). Out of the 90 study participants who provided stressors they experience d at their school, 16 participants school -9 from one school, and 7 from another, none from the other two participating schools. This could indicate that two schools may have school culture issues that ( if addressed) could help lower the stress that these teachers are experiencing. Perceived Stressors and Emotional Intelligence Two areas of emotional intelligence were significantly related to the high number of teacher ability to use emotions (a sub category of EI, under experiencing emotions) makes sense, since the more stressors a teacher may have, the less confident they may feel that in their ability to cope emotionally. This can start a downward cyclical pattern since how well teachers can or cannot emotionally handle issues or perceived problems may affect their teaching abilities. According to Falout (2010), using emotions to overcome adversity can improve the moods and thinking of everyone involved in workplace situations and can be very beneficial in bonding with colleagues and reputation -negatively using emotions can have the opposite effect. Recommendations for the Fie ld While this study found no relationship between teacher burnout and emotional intelligence, the re were significant findings. For example, there was a significant relationships between teachers with more overall teaching experience and emotional exhaustio n (a sub category of burnout ); gender and emotional intelligence (male participants perceived emotions more accurately than female participants); race and
54 emotional intelligence (white participants perceived and utilized emotions more often than African Am erican and Hispanic participants); participant generated stressors and burnout (the more stressors participants listed, the higher their emotional exhaustion scores); and participant generated stressors and emotional intelligence (the more stressors a part icipant listed, the lower tha t overall emotional intelligence). These areas of significance indicate that teachers could benefit from knowledge and training in emotional intelligence development and burnout prevent ion through personal and professional improvement t hat might mitigate teacher attrition. Retaining Teachers by Developing Emotional Intelligence ` EI could be developed as one method of mitigating teacher burnout and attrition. The high cost of teacher a ttrition warrants additional study of the factors that may relate to the success and retention of teachers. Many teachers are under a great deal of stress, and may lack the emotional intelligence and/or knowledge needed to improve their situation. Out of t he 96 study participants, 4 had high EI, 59 had average EI scores, and 33 had low EI. This finding suggests that training in emotional intelligence may be beneficial since increased EI can improve coping with environmental and social demands, improving ind Salovey & Sluyter, 1997) Theories of emotional intelligence and their related use could provide a framework for future training to assist with teacher stress and burnout. Emotional intelli gence training Emotional intelligence may be improved by experience and learning and could potentially help individuals use better strategies for effective emotional regulation (Elfenbein, 2006). Individuals who have high EI scores tend to excel when work ing with the public, so given the high face to face contact
55 educators experience, this could be helpful (Rice, 1999). Also, given the cumulative career (Clarke, 2005). Several companies, such as EI Skills Group, Six Seconds, and the British Academy of Advanced Training (BAAT), currently offer training to schools or forms H owever typically it involves individual EI assessments, followed by individual or small group development or interventions based upon the assessments, then group or team training once individual areas are identified, and finally action plans that are creat ed for future growth and training as well as integration of new group members. Costs to a district for training could vary greatly depending on the type of training used. by Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso), would be approximately $2,595.00, to have expert EI trainers come to a school or distr ict site could be upwards of $1 5 ,000.00 (Emotionaliq.com, 2010). Emotional intelligence testing T esting for EI would also not be unheard o f as 39% of North American firms already use EI tests as one of many indicators of an white c ollar executive recruiting companies now give personality assessments and inventories to prospective employees (Van Houten, 1998; Cha, 2005). A ny kind of test other than skill based could be considered unnecessary or possibly discriminatory, but, accordin workplace deaths was caused by worker on worker assaults or self inflicted injuries.
56 The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) also provides guidance and regulation to prevent hiring practices and tests that are unlawfully discriminatory. Besides red flagging any potential candidates with possible aggressive or anti social tendencies, they can also reveal those who may have leadership potential (Hart & Sheldon, 2007) Emotional Intelligence and school leadership George (2006) reported that the ability to modulate emotions is a distinguishing characteristic of effective leaders. Professional, competent educational leaders and teachers who can also effectively empathi ze and communicate with each other and stakeholders are needed in today's schools. According to Ashkanasy and Dasborough (2003 ), professional development that teaches about emotions and emotional intelligence was positively associated with team performance in a leadership development course. Emotional intelligence was training. Kram and Cherniss (2001) found that emotional intelligence was important to mentoring relationshi ps because those relationships involve issues of trust, care and concern Y et there is tension between autonomy and connection and differences in status and power. Schools that experience success rely upon teamwork, collaboration, and good interpersonal re lationships which also foster parental involvement, another key factor in educational success. Parents want to feel welcome, and emotional intelligence creates optimism, confidence, friendliness, and energy in individuals (Saarni, 2001). Retaining Teachers by Preventing Burnout Teacher stress may be caused by an imbalance between demands at school and the resources available to help teachers cope with these demands (Esteve, 2000).
57 Over two m otional exhaustion, and 94% (n = 90) of the teachers took the time (after a lengthy EI test and burnout survey) to write down stressors they were currently experiencing. Fifty eight teachers described two or more different stressors, and of these, sixteen listed three or more stressors. Today's teachers are being asked to do more with less less time, and fewer resources. This is not a new phenomenon, as stress has been studied and steps taken (usually without success) in an attempt to stem teacher stress and burnout (Hughes, 2001). Now, EI gives educators a new lens through which to examine stress, Self efficacy in burnout prevention Self efficacy and the ability to regard daily events with per Kyriacou (2001) offers several suggestions o n how schools can help mitigate stress before it becomes burnout (based upon the 1998 Education Service Advisory Committee Report): consult with teachers on matters which directly impact their classroom, such as curriculum planning; ensure that adequate facilities and instructional resources are available; avoid role ambiguity and conflict by providing clear job expectations; maintain open lines of communi cation between administrators and teachers to give each other regular support and performance feedback; help teachers and other personnel fully develop a professional identity, which is aided by professional development activities, networking, and mentorin g. essential because, once established, efficacy beliefs are resistant to change. Given that teacher efficacy is associated with student achievement and motivation, adoption of
58 innovations, and t clas sroom management strategies, self efficacy should be examined as a preventative measure to combat teacher burnout (Hoy, 2005). Mentoring in burnout prevention Sixty nine of the ninety six participants had been mentored as a new teacher, twenty five did no t have a mentor, and twelve did not provide an answer to the question. Given the large number of teachers mentored in the study, it would seem likely that mentoring would have buffered the effects of burnout or been correlated to increased EI, but this was not the case. While mentoring can be a preventative and healing force in terms of burnout, not all mentoring programs are effectively established and maintained. When not strategically selected, mentors can perpetuate stagnant educational methods and appr oaches, undermine teacher development, and stifle reform efforts (Feiman Nemser, 1996; Kardos & Johnson, 2008). There is no district ; rather, mentor selection, matching, training, and follow up is left to the individual schools. The degree to which the mentors and new teachers are meaningfully engaged may means of combating teacher stress and burnout. Both the mentor and the new teacher can benefit from effective mentoring, resulting in improved professional competency; reflective practice; professional renewal; psychological benefits such as enhanced self esteem; collaboration and collegiality; contributions to teach er leadership; and pedagogical inquiry/teacher research (Huling & Resta, 2001). Effective, purposeful mentoring programs distinguish themselves from haphazard support by: having a rigorous mentoring selection; providing on going professional development an d support for mentors; authorized time for mentor teacher interactions rather than occasional
59 meetings; intensive and specific guidance moving teaching practices forward rather than nonspecific coaching; standards and data based conversations rather than c asual feedback; clear alignment and collaboration with administrators and stake holders rather than operating in isolation (New Teacher Center, 2008). Two studies at New Teacher Center tracked teachers six years after they had received support from the San ta Cruz New Teacher Project as beginning teachers I n both cohorts, 88% were still teaching after six years (Strong, 2005). Mentoring m ay also be a cost effective way to impr ove teacher retention because there i s a return of $1.66 for every dollar invested after five years when the costs and benefits are summed up (New Teacher Center, 2008). Recommendations for Future Research Very few studies have explored teacher burnout and EI. A lthough the findings were limited by the small size and demographics, a lar ger study, involving more than one school district, has the potential to yield additional information that would benefit an understanding of the relationship between burnout and emotional intelligence among elementary teachers. Future studies exploring how emotion affects human insight and behavior could also be of help in the field of education, as they could examine teacher burnout and stress, which negatively impacts teachers, students, parents, and other professionals. The most important factor in stud ent achievement is the classroom teacher so studies that can explore ways to improve teacher satisfaction and motivation should be pursued (Jarvis, 2002) Effective mentoring has been studied, but more information pertaining to the emotional lessons learn ed and potential for emotional mentor/mentoree growth could be explored further. Mentoring with emotional intelligence components could improve not
60 only the mentoring experience for both teachers but also improve the likelihood that the new teacher w ould t hen become a mentor (Chun, Litzky, Sosik, Bechtold, & Godshalk, 2010). The benefits of emotional intelligence in mentoring relationships, such as having the ability to set a positive tone for interactions, motivate the other party to seek agreement, and co pe with negative emotions without getting overwhelmed by them, could be examined. Conclusions This quantitative exploratory study provided an examination of the relationships between emotional intelligence and burnout, and various demographic factors of th e participants. There was no relationship between EI and b urnout among these participants H owever, there was a significant relationship between EI and gender and EI and race/ethnicity. Two areas of emotional int elligence were also significantly related t o the high number of teacher teachers with 1 6 or more years of experience had significantly higher feelings of per sonal accomplishment. Also, the more stressors teachers listed, the higher his/her emotional exhaustion scores. This study contributes to the field of educational leadership, specifically to those involved with teacher training and mentoring, and to indiv idual school administrators and teachers by highlighting the relationship between teacher characteristics and EI and burn out By extension, the implication is that there may be benefits to improving emotional intelligence such as decreasing teacher stress which contributes to teacher attrition. Negative school cultures and the isolationist practice of teaching do not support a decrease in teacher burnout or the advancement of EI. However, the results suggest
61 that EI is an individual component of change tha t can be developed with training, and that feelings of efficacy and personal accomplishment can be celebrated and recognized to improve EI, specifically among beginning teachers and in conjunction with effective mentoring. The e motional intelligence of tea chers is a new field of study, and this study adds to the body of research led by the earlier efforts and studies of Mayer, Salovey and Caruso. Although teacher stress is not a new phenomenon, the growing number of teachers choosing to leave the field is c ostly and detrimental to our schools. There are a plethora of studies and effort s currently aimed at improving accountability and increasing student achievement, but who will be left to implement our best laid plans once all of the experienced and emotiona lly competent and compassionate teachers have left the profession?
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73 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH of North Carolina in 1992. She received her teaching certification from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1994. She taught in Chatham County, North Carolina, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1996. Nancy was an a ssistant principal in Chatham County, North Carolina for two years, before moving to Gainesville, Florida. She stayed at home with her two children and became a part time doctoral student at the University of Florida in 2002. Nancy has most recently work ed as a Title I Coordinator for Levy County Schools (Florida), and is currently the Director of Instruction for Alachua Academics, a Supplemental Educational Services company, currently contracting with Levy County Schools.