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Trust in school: a pathway to inhibit teacher burnout?

Dimitri Van Maele (UGent) and Mieke Van Houtte (UGent)
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Abstract
Purpose: This paper considers trust as an important relational source in schools by exploring whether trust lowers teacher burnout. We examine how trust relationships with different school parties such as the principal relate to distinct dimensions of teacher burnout. We further analyze whether school-level trust additionally influences burnout. In doing this, we account for other teacher and school characteristics. Design: We use quantitative data gathered during the 2008-2009 school year from 673 teachers across 58 elementary schools in Flanders (i.e. the northern Dutch-speaking region of Belgium). Because teacher and school characteristics are simultaneously related to burnout, multilevel modeling is applied. Findings:. Trust can act as a buffer against teacher burnout. Teachers’ trust in students demonstrates the strongest association with burnout compared to trust in principals or colleagues. Exploring relationships of trust in distinct school parties with different burnout dimensions yield interesting additional insights such as the specific importance of teacher-principal trust for teachers’ emotional exhaustion. Burnout is further an individual teacher matter to which school-level factors are mainly unrelated. Implications: Principals fulfill an important role in inhibiting emotional exhaustion among teachers. They are advised to create a school atmosphere that is conducive for different kinds of trust relationships to develop. Actions to strengthen trust and inhibit teacher burnout are necessary, although further qualitative and longitudinal research is desirable. Originality/value: This paper offers a unique contribution by examining trust in different school parties as a relational buffer against teacher burnout. It indicates that principals can affect teacher burnout and prevent emotional exhaustion by nurturing trusting relationships in school.
Keywords
Trust, Burnout, Teachers, Elementary School, Emotional Exhaustion

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Chicago
Van Maele, Dimitri, and Mieke Van Houtte. 2015. “Trust in School: a Pathway to Inhibit Teacher Burnout?” Journal of Educational Administration 53 (1): 93–115.
APA
Van Maele, Dimitri, & Van Houtte, M. (2015). Trust in school: a pathway to inhibit teacher burnout? JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION, 53(1), 93–115.
Vancouver
1.
Van Maele D, Van Houtte M. Trust in school: a pathway to inhibit teacher burnout? JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION. Emerald; 2015;53(1):93–115.
MLA
Van Maele, Dimitri, and Mieke Van Houtte. “Trust in School: a Pathway to Inhibit Teacher Burnout?” JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION 53.1 (2015): 93–115. Print.
@article{5808166,
  abstract     = {Purpose: This paper considers trust as an important relational source in schools by exploring whether trust lowers teacher burnout. We examine how trust relationships with different school parties such as the principal relate to distinct dimensions of teacher burnout. We further analyze whether school-level trust additionally influences burnout. In doing this, we account for other teacher and school characteristics. Design: We use quantitative data gathered during the 2008-2009 school year from 673 teachers across 58 elementary schools in Flanders (i.e. the northern Dutch-speaking region of Belgium). Because teacher and school characteristics are simultaneously related to burnout, multilevel modeling is applied. Findings:. Trust can act as a buffer against teacher burnout. Teachers{\textquoteright} trust in students demonstrates the strongest association with burnout compared to trust in principals or colleagues. Exploring relationships of trust in distinct school parties with different burnout dimensions yield interesting additional insights such as the specific importance of teacher-principal trust for teachers{\textquoteright} emotional exhaustion. Burnout is further an individual teacher matter to which school-level factors are mainly unrelated. Implications: Principals fulfill an important role in inhibiting emotional exhaustion among teachers. They are advised to create a school atmosphere that is conducive for different kinds of trust relationships to develop. Actions to strengthen trust and inhibit teacher burnout are necessary, although further qualitative and longitudinal research is desirable. Originality/value: This paper offers a unique contribution by examining trust in different school parties as a relational buffer against teacher burnout. It indicates that principals can affect teacher burnout and prevent emotional exhaustion by nurturing trusting relationships in school.},
  author       = {Van Maele, Dimitri and Van Houtte, Mieke},
  issn         = {0957-8234},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {93--115},
  publisher    = {Emerald},
  title        = {Trust in school: a pathway to inhibit teacher burnout?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JEA-02-2014-0018},
  volume       = {53},
  year         = {2015},
}

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