Date of Graduation

5-2022

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Advisor

John Pijanowski

Committee Member

Kara Lasater

Second Committee Member

Christy Smith

Keywords

Servant Leadership, Teacher Attrition, Teacher Stress, Teacher Stressors, Teacher Turnover

Abstract

Accountability practices increase teacher stress, restrict classroom autonomy, and force many teachers out of the field of education at alarming rates. Does a relationship exist between leaders who demonstrate perceived servant leadership characteristics and teachers’ stress levels when faced with change and increased accountability? For this study, servant leadership was defined using the seven key dimensions of servant leadership identified by Ehrhart (2004) and Liden, Wayne, Zhao, and Henderson (2008). Teacher stress was defined “as the experience by a teacher of unpleasant emotions resulting from aspects of their work as a teacher (Skaalvik & Skaalvik, 2016, as cited in Collie, Shapka, & Perry, 2012; Kyriacou, 1987, 2001; Liu & Onwuegbuzie, 2012). Findings of this study suggest that Servant Leadership provides a buffer for the stressors teachers face, but it does not make their occupational stressors nonexistent. When an administrator is a servant leader, they are aware of the pulse of the building, and they have foresight to develop systems that will reduce teacher stress.

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