The role of teacher efficacy in the development and prevention of teacher burnout

Year: 2002

Author: Labone, Elizabeth

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Teacher burnout is a significant problem within the teaching profession, yet investigations of burnout have not adequately addressed teacher beliefs that contribute to burnout, or strategies that build resilience in teachers. This study aimed to address these two issues through the investigation of the role of teacher efficacy beliefs in the development and prevention of teacher burnout. A two-phase research design addressed these issues. Phase one aimed to assess the predictive value of changes in personal teaching efficacy on the three dimensions of burnout over a period of three years, and to establish whether changes in personal teaching efficacy mediate the effects of organisational stressors on burnout. Phase two aimed to develop self-regulated use of a heuristic strategy with preservice teachers, to maintain or enhance their level of personal teaching efficacy. Analysis of the phase one models using LISREL found teacher efficacy to be a direct predictor of burnout and to also mediate the impact of key organisational stressors. Phase two results revealed significant gains in levels of efficacy for teachers who engaged in the strategy training. The paper reports on this research and discusses implications for building resilience in teachers through efficacy enhancement.