University of Missouri - Saint Louis

The Graduate School


An oral examination in defense of the dissertation for the degree

Doctorate in Education

Julius R. Sims I
M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, June 2000, National-Louis University, St. Louis
B.S. in Industrial Arts Education, May 1979, Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA.

What is the Transformational Learning Experience of Secondary Teachers Who Have Dealt with Burnout?



Burnout is a syndrome consisting of emotional exhaustion (EE) and depersonalization (DPZ) (Yong & Yue, 2007). Teachers who fall victim to burnout are likely to be less sympathetic toward students, have a lower tolerance for classroom disruption, be less apt to prepare adequately for class, and feel less committed and dedicated to their work (Betoret, 2006; Byrne, 1991; Fisher, 2011). The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the burnout experiences among secondary teachers and the ways they cope with the adverse conditions. The participants were eight high school teachers from a large metropolitan area school district. In-depth interviews were used to understand the personal meanings, expressed opinions, feelings, points of view, and other detailed descriptions of the participants. Administration issues, administrative workload, negative teacher/student relationships and lack of student effort were themes associated with emotional exhaustion and depersonalization affecting teaching performance. In contrast, mental efficiencies, interpersonal relationships, and outside resources were themes associated with the coping activities/strategies of teachers. Preventing negative outcomes and minimizing unproductive behaviors and performance due to adverse effects of emotional exhaustion and detached attitudes towards students (i.e., depersonalization) may help teachers become more effective in the classroom. (Hammond & Onikama, 1996; Maslach, 2003; Zonlnierczyk-Zreda, 2005).


Date: November 21, 2013

Time: Noon to 2:00 p.m.

Place: Technology and Learning Center, Sigma-Aldrich Science Lab


Defense of Dissertation Committee


E. Paulette Isaac-Savage, Ed.D. (Advisor/Chairperson)

Lynn Beckwith Jr., Ed.D.

Mavis Clark, Ed.D.


John A. Henschke, Ed.D.

Matthew J. Taylor, Ph.D.