Examining The Relationships Between Positive Psychology And Teacher Burnout In Secondary Education

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Martin J. Resner


Since the Covid-19 worldwide pandemic, there has been a workforce shortage in many professions, including education. Before the global pandemic, education saw worrying levels of shortage, stress, burnout, and attrition. Teachers feel stressed from a growing list of roles and responsibilities. This is creating a rise in teachers' burnout, creating more problems for education such as poorer performing teachers and teachers leaving the profession. Researchers continue to look at various ways to treat, reduce, and prevent burnout.

            Using Seligman’s positive psychology and the PERMA framework for wellbeing, this study aims to examine possible relationships between positive psychology traits or positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment on teacher burnout elements of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and accomplishment. This study used a quantitative approach and survey research methodology. Participants were 145 secondary (Grade 6-12) teachers from various public schools in two Midwest states. Pearson correlation coefficients identified that burnout components had a relationship with all positive psychology traits, except for relationships. Hierarchical regression analysis indicated that emotional exhaustion might be predicted by gender, positive emotion, relationship, meaning, and accomplishment; depersonalization may be predicted by positive emotion; accomplishment may be predicted by engagement and meaning. Recommendations for teachers (and teacher organizations), school administrators, and school boards are discussed along with recommendations for future research.

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