Research Article | Open Access
Burnout in relation to Gender, Teaching Experience, and Educational Level among Educators
This study aims to investigate the burnout levels of the educators with respect to gender, teaching experience, and educational level. The subjects of the study are 31 educators. A survey design using a questionnaire was utilized to collect data within three burnout dimensions, i.e., emotional exhaustion (EE), depersonalization (DP), and reduced personal accomplishment (PA). The study has found that the educators are emotionally exhausted and experience reduced personal accomplishment levels with high levels of depersonalization. Both genders regardless of years of experience with Bachelor, Master, and PhD degrees demonstrated high levels of emotional exhaustion. The educators who are troubled by depersonalization are mainly Bachelor degree holders with less than 5 years of experience. This indicates that these educators have negative attitudes towards the people they are working with including students and parents. This may be attributed to their lack of working experience. Nevertheless, female educators with Master degrees and 6 to 10 years of experience are highly affected by reduced personal accomplishment levels. The lack of fulfillment felt by these educators can lead to weak performance in class. The findings from this study are essential to give an overview on the burnout levels among educators and identify alternative solutions to overcome this situation. In addition, school authorities and administrators can take these factors into account when making recruitment decisions.
The increase of globalization affects the education system by causing changes in structural transformation with rapid advancements in the information and communication field . These rapid changes result in teachers having increased responsibilities apart from their teaching roles. According to Subon and Sigie , teaching is one of the most stressful occupations as the education system encompasses all the factors that are associated with stress, such as bureaucratic structures, continuous evaluation of its processes and outcomes, and increased interaction with students, parents, colleagues, principals, and the community.
Issues like the increase in student bad behaviour, student apathy, overcrowding in class, increasing administrative loads, lack of infrastructural support, and public’s negative opinion have led to job stresses when working as a teacher, and this often leads to burnout . This forces teachers to work past their schedule and also deal with role conflicts . According to , the stress among teachers has been increasing from year to year because of the introduction of various new teaching programmes and also the use of the electronic system, also known as the e-system, to record all the activities at school.
Freudenberger  defined burnout as being worn down and depleted in energy with feelings of failure and exhaustion. Pines and Maslach  have identified burnout as a syndrome of physical and emotional exhaustion, including development of poor professional job attitudes. Moreover, the study identified the three dimensions of burnout as emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment. Emotional exhaustion refers to feelings of exhaustion due to daily conflicts in the working environment, for example, the stress feeling in handling student misbehaviour. Depersonalization indicates negative attitudes towards people who are related to the profession, such as students and parents. Personal accomplishment is the sense of personal fulfillment. It is negatively related to burnout, i.e., the more a person suffers from burnout, the worse they feel about their own accomplishments. This will indirectly affect the educator’s capabilities in classroom.
In recent years, research in this area has tremendously grown (see Hakanen et al. , Kokkinos , Mukundan and Khandehroo [9, 10], Mukundan and Ahour , and Subon and Sigie ). Burnout has been correlated with a negative impact on daily work performance. Educators play an important role in students’ learning process . In view of this, burnout among educators will immediately affect the students due to weak performance following the burnout. Moreover, demographic factors have been found to be important factors that affect burnout. In this study, gender, years of teaching experience, and educational levels have been taken into account to access the burnout levels among the educators.
Few studies have been conducted to investigate the stress among teachers (see Subon and Sigie , Jamaludin and Ghazali , and Mukundan and Khandehroo , to name a few). Hence, it is crucial to study the burnout level among the educators. This has motivated the current research, i.e., to study the level of burnout among the educators. This can be studied by investigating the significance levels between burnout dimensions and the respondents’ gender, years of experience, and educational levels. The findings from this study would assist school authorities and administrators considering such factors in enhancing the effectiveness of educators.
This paper is structured as follows. The method of the study is discussed in the next section. The results and discussion are presented in Section 3. Finally, Section 4 contains the concluding statements.
2. Materials and Methods
The purpose of this research is to investigate the level of burnout with respect to years of experience, educational level, and gender among educators. Few researchers believed that years of experience is one of the factors that influence the burnout level among educators (see Subon and Sigie  and Mukundan and Khandehroo ). Moreover, educational level and gender have been viewed as the demographic factors that affect the burnout level . Meanwhile, this has been suggested by Subon and Sigie  in their study to include gender in the future research to investigate the burnout level.
The sample of the study was the 31 educators out of the 46 educators. The school name is kept anonymous. The response rate was 68.89%. Among the respondents, 39% of them were males and 61% were females. From the sample collected, about 67.7% had teaching experience ranging from 6 to 15 years, whereas 19.4% and 12.9% were below and above this range, respectively. For the educational level, the majority of them at 45.2% were Masters Degree holders while 25.8% were PhD holders, followed by 22.6% of Bachelor degree holders and 6.5% of Diploma holders.
In this study, two questionnaires were distributed to the respondents. The questionnaires are the demographic questionnaire and the Maslach Burnout Inventory: The Dutch Educators Survey (MBI-NL-ES) is adapted from Horn and Schaufeli  to assess educator burnout levels. This questionnaire is the modified version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS) and the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Educator Survey (MBI-ES) . The MBI-NL-ES contains 22 items . These items are divided into the three dimensions of burnout which are emotional exhaustion (EE), depersonalization (DP), and reduced personal accomplishment (PA). For example, the emotional exhaustion dimension determined the feeling of being emotionally exhausted by including 8 items in the questionnaire. The depersonalization was determined by the feeling of impersonal response towards people as assessed by 7 items in the questionnaire, while the feeling of successful achievement for oneself was assessed by 7 items in the questionnaire as an example of personal accomplishment. The questions in the MBI-NL-ES employed a Likert scale, i.e., 0 as never and 6 as always.
3. Results and Discussion
The collected data were analyzed using SPSS version 23. Here, one-sample t-test was the statistical procedure employed to investigate the three dimensions of burnout levels, i.e., emotional exhaustion (EE), depersonalization (DP), and reduced personal accomplishment (PA) with regards to gender, years of experience, and educational level among educators. There are three different levels of burnout which are high, moderate, and low . In this study, we only considered the high level of three burnout dimensions. To be considered a high level of burnout, emotional exhaustion scores must exceed 27, depersonalization scores need to be above 13, and reduced personal accomplishment scores need to be below 31.
As shown in Table 1, the two burnout dimensions which are emotional exhaustion and reduced personal accomplishment are significantly high with a value < 0.05 among the participants. Nevertheless, as the significant value for depersonalization is value = 0.064 > 0.05, it cannot be identified as significantly high. This indicates that the educators are facing emotional exhaustion and reduced personal accomplishment.
In view of this, factors such as gender, years of teaching experience, and educational levels among the educators were taken into account to assess the burnout dimensions. To determine whether gender, years of experience, and educational levels indicate high levels of significance in emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment, one sample t-test was utilized in this study. Tables 2–4 present the one sample t-test results for the three dimensions with reference to gender. Both males and females experienced significant emotional exhaustion. This portrays that the symptoms showed by the educators were due to work-related factors, for example, heavy workload which could lead to emotional exhaustion, which is congruent with the previous study . However, both males and females did not show high levels of depersonalization. This shows that the educators have a positive attitude towards the people they are working with, for example, students and parents. Finally, female educators indicate high levels of reduced personal accomplishment but this is not found among male educators. This indicates that female educators were seriously affected in terms of commitment towards their job in comparison with male educators.
Table 5 shows that educators face emotional exhaustion regardless of the years of experience. This indicates that all educators are emotionally fatigued due to overexhaustion from daily conflicts in the working environment. This results are in line with those of [2, 10]. From Table 6, depersonalization only happened among educators with 5 and fewer years of experience. Interestingly, those with 6 years and above of experience did not suffer from depersonalization. This phenomenon demonstrates that the educators with 5 and fewer years of experience were more depersonalised compared to those with 6 years and above of experience. Previous research findings in  stated that the longer the teaching experience the educators have, the more depersonalised they become. This is contradicted with the outcome of this study, which revealed that the educators with 5 and fewer years of experience in this study probably caused by lack of professional experience which could lead to depersonalization. For reduced personal accomplishment, as represented in Table 7, the evidence shows that educators with 6–10 years of experience are affected by reduced personal accomplishment. However, the educators with below and above this range of teaching experience cannot be identified to have high levels of reduced personal accomplishment. This significantly shows that majority of educators still showed positive attitude by being committed to work despite the heavy responsibilities they were facing.
Significance levels relating to the educational levels of educators are represented by Tables 8–10. Educators with Bachelors, Masters, and PhDs showed higher tendencies towards emotional exhaustion, whereas Diploma holders do not have any sign of emotional exhaustion. Bachelor degree holders are affected by depersonalization while the educators with Diploma, Master, and PhD are not. Nevertheless, Master degree holders suffer from reduced personal accomplishment even though this does not affect the Diploma, Bachelor, and PhD holders. The Master degree holders are viewed as being troubled by reduced personal accomplishment, i.e., they feel worse about their sense of personal fulfillment. Moreover, from Tables 8 to 10, it shows that educators with Diploma were not facing burnout dimensions, which indirectly indicates that educators with Diploma do not portray the symptom of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment.
On the findings presented, a high level of burnout is identified among educators. In other words, the educators are emotionally exhausted and encountered reduced personal accomplishment while experiencing depersonalization. Hence, it is recommended for the school authorities and administrators to propose activities or professional development programs to overcome the high levels of burnout.
This study investigated the effects of gender, years of experience, and educational level on the presence of burnout dimensions. The results show that regardless of years of experience, both genders with Bachelors, Masters, and PhDs were experiencing emotional exhaustion. This suggested that Diploma holders were not affected by such exhaustion. This indirectly indicates that the teaching profession is a challenging career that requires emotional strength. Depersonalization occurred among educators with Bachelor degrees with less than 5 years of experience. This implies that less-experienced educators are less responsive to their students than the experienced ones. This might be due to the lack of experience in teaching and handling students. Reduced personal accomplishments appear in women with Master Degrees and 6–10 years of experience. Thus, it can be deduced that the educators’ lack of teaching efficacy will lead to a deterioration of performance in their career. This phenomenon can be overcome if school authorities and administrators provide professional development programs where they can increase their self-esteem by being teachers.
Burnout among educators will result in negative effects in the educational system. This will indirectly lead to an unproductive learning environment. As indicated from the findings in this study, it is necessary for the school authorities and administrators to take action and guide the educators to overcome the high levels of burnout. Further research can be conducted to include educators from public and private schools to compare the burnout levels across different institutions.
The data used to support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon request.
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this paper.
The authors would like to convey appreciation to all participants for giving invaluable responses in this study.
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Copyright © 2019 Izzul Ilham Jamaludin and Huay Woon You. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.