International Education Journal


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Teacher Burnout and Perceptions of a Democratic School Environment

Anthony Gary Dworkin
The University of Houston and The Australian National University

Lawrence J. Saha
The Australian National University

Antwanette N. Hill
University of Houston


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How do democratic personnel policies of the public school principal affect teacher burnout and how does teacher burnout affect support for democratic instructional styles? Using sequential OLS models from questionnaire data of 2,961 urban public school teachers, the research finds that teachers, who perceive that their principals are non-authoritarian, are supportive and collegial, and involve them in campus decision-making, are less likely to experience burnout than those teachers who perceive the opposite. However, both burned out teachers and those who report that their principal treats them democratically do not support a similar democratic treatment of their students, as indicated by their rejection of student-centred instruction. Policy implications of the research are discussed in the context of the state's accountability mandate.

Teacher Burnout, Democratic School Environment, student-centred instruction, accountability


   Dworkin, A.G., Saha, L.J. and Hill, A.N. (2003) Teacher Burnout and Perceptions of a Democratic School Environment. International Education Journal, 4 (2), 108-120.

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