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CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Introduction

Generally, individuals who work face to face with people may experience burnout. Burnout can be a primary cause to an individual who suffers from this symptoms and also people around them (Landeche, 2009). Moreover, this syndrome affects people who work in helping professions or other client-centered fields (Schutte, Toppinen, Kalimo, & Schaufeli, 2000).

The idea of burnout was formed by Herbert Freudenberger in 1974 as wearing down or draining out of energy (Freudenberger & North, 1985). In addition, Freudenberger (1974), state that burnout “is not a situation that gets better by being ignored. Nor is it any kind of disgrace. On the opposite, it's a problem born of good intentions.” Burnout may render people unable to cope with their problems; however, those who are able to cope with their problems of work issues may perform better at their jobs. In the teaching profession, the phenomenon of burnout has often been studied and has globally been well accepted as being problematic and uncertain for teachers (Cherniss, 1995; Guglielmi & Tatrow, 1998).

Folkman (1984) relates burnout with stress; it is a combination of mental and physical symptoms. This psychological react as “long-term exhaustion and diminished interest” and it may take a long period to blow up to the surface. In addition to that, high level of stress for considerable periods of time could increase burnout characteristics including less sympathy and understanding towards students, reduced acceptance of students, failure to set up lessons and a lack of commitment to the teaching profession (Dorman, 2003).

Ingersoll and Smith (2003) mentioned that teacher burnout is often known as a main source of teacher retention phase. At present, teachers in Malaysia are facing extensive pressure from all the changes taking place in the education system due to the Malaysia Plan. About 4 out of 27 Institut Pendidikan Guru Malaysia (IPGM) (Teachers Training Institutes) will focus on teacher training of English language teachers. Besides, the government will assess and monitor the effectiveness of the program constantly and will provide some inventive to empower students with English language (Tenth Malaysia Plan, 2010). This idea has increased ESL teachers' workload and hence brings about the assumption that their burnout level has also risen.

To make the above statement clearer, the teaching periods had increased from 90 - 240 to 330 minutes a week for primary 1, 2 and 3. Meanwhile, for primary 4, 5 and 6 it has increased from 90 - 210 minutes to 300 minutes a week. The changes also do not exclude secondary schools ESL teachers, whereby their teaching periods had increased from 80 - 200 to 280 minutes a week. Further, literature reports that workload or work tasks have increased and education system transformation, societal changes and multitasking have caused teachers' work to increase in intensity (Brante, 2009). Moreover, the changes of moral and normative quality of teachers' work (where teachers are expected to influence students' lives to a greater level than in the past) also have caused teachers' work to become more complicated and intense (Brante, 2009).

The complexity of the tiredness situation develops negative job feelings, low professional in self-perceptive and losing of empathy for clients (Maslach & Pines, 1984). According to this characterization, the burnout syndrome consists of three dimensions: emotional exhaustion felt by people who cooperate extensively with other people, depersonalization and diminished personal accomplishment. Emotional exhaustion is indicated by lack of energy and the consumption of a person's emotional wealth. Depersonalization results in the form of impassiveness and cynicism toward co-workers, clients, and the organization. Finally, diminished personal accomplishment is a tendency to assess oneself negatively (Maslach, 1982; Maslach & Jackson, 1981; Pines & Maslach, 1980). According to Maslach (1976), people who always have interactions with others can undergo consistent emotional pressure.

Burke and Greenglass (1995) suggested that burnout includes three components “that are conceptually diverse but empirically related” (p.188). In this line, Schaufeli and Buunk (2002) consider the occurrence of teachers' difficulties is characterized in three dimensions, including (1) a physical dimension concerning exhaustion as an external symptom, (2) a mental distancing from regular teacher activities, and (3) a reduced professional effectiveness.

Considering all of these measures which contribute to teacher burnout, the purpose of this study took its shape. The study primarily aims to investigate the level of burnout in a selected group of English language teachers in Putrajaya primary and secondary schools. Additionally, it seeks to find out whether their working experience or teaching level can determine their level of burnout.

1.2 Statement of Problem

Teachers are often physically and emotionally challenged; therefore, they may experience burnout. Teacher burnout has been shown to have negative effects on teacher and student performance (Huberman & Vandenberghe, 1999; Maslach & Leiter, 1999). Here a clear picture can be seen that stresses an important issue in most educational systems today.

Research on elementary school teachers in the United States shows that working experience can influences teacher burnout (Cheek, Bradley, Parr & Lan, 2003). In line with that, research in Malaysia also indicates teachers from different working experience categories suffer varying levels of burnout (Mukundan & Khandehroo, 2009).

Besides, a research in Hong Kong primary and secondary school teachers perceived different level of stress (Alan, Chan, Chen, Elaine & Chong, 2010). Whereas most research carried out in European and North American Countries indicated high levels of burnout among primary school teachers (Mearns & Cain, 2003). In Malaysia, primary and secondary school teachers also suffered from stress (NUTP, 2005).

Demographic factors have been found much related to burnout syndrome among teachers in various studies. Most of the studies focused on age, gender, marital status, education attainment and job satisfaction, but very few focused on working experience among specific subject teachers (Mukundan & Khandehroo, 2009). Moreover, not much studies done in federal administrative centre of Malaysia like Putrajaya. Meanwhile, the education system and administration also has been graded as very outstanding.

Given the relative paucity of research in this area in Malaysia, it is important to study the effect of teachers' working experience and teaching level on burnout.

1.3 Objectives of Study

The present study is an attempt to determine the level of burnout among a group of English language teachers in a number of primary and secondary schools in Putrajaya, Malaysia. The specific objectives of the study are as follows:

  1. To determine the level of burnout dimensions of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and personal accomplishment among the sample.
  2. To compare the sample's burnout levels in reference to their working experience.
  3. To compare the sample's level of burnout in reference to their teaching level.

1.4 Research Questions

The research questions of the study are as follows:

  1. What is the level of emotional exhaustion among ESL teachers in Putrajaya?
  2. What is the level of depersonalization among ESL teachers in Putrajaya?
  3. What is the level of personal accomplishment among ESL teachers in Putrajaya?
  4. Is there a significant difference between high (10 years and above) and low (below 10 years) experienced teachers' scores of burnout dimensions?
  5. Is there a significant difference between the ESL primary and secondary school teachers' scores of burnout dimensions?

1.5 Significance of Study

At this small-scale level, the findings from this study will provide valuable information for both schools (primary and secondary) ESL teachers in Putrajaya. By having this information, teachers and stake holders may realize and more aware of the current situations.

School is a centre in promoting education to students. In educational setting, students relate to many different professionals who assist them in pursuing and achieving their educational goals. Teachers have important roles in the teaching- learning network. Maslach (1976) notes that the teaching career is relatively flat with little opportunity for hierarchical advancement, and regardless of how many hours teachers work, there is very little opportunity for additional pay. Based on this, it is expected that this study will help ESL teachers especially to be more professional in managing their work and to help them to reduce their burnout level. In addition, the study contributes to ESL teachers and administrators' awareness of the can factors that lead to burnout. This will prevent the teacher from being overly stressed or burnt out at work.

This study looks into the burnout occurrence with relation to working experience among ESL teachers in Putrajaya schools. It also tries to determine primary and secondary school ESL teachers' level of burnout. It is one of the steps to have ‘healthy' teachers ensure effective teaching performance. The significance of this study lies on the data collection regarding the burnout and working experience among primary and secondary school ESL teachers in Malaysia. It can lead to a better reduction of stress among the English as Second Language teachers in Putrajaya.

The findings of the study can provide useful information for the decision makers to help the ESL teachers as increased stress levels would affect the education system. Moreover, the administrators also have better understanding of the present educational situation and this will improve teachers' efficiency in primary and secondary schools in Putrajaya and consequently result in students' better performance.

1.6 Limitation of Study

This study was limited to primary and secondary school ESL teachers in Federal Territory of Putrajaya only. As such, the findings may not be generalized to all primary and secondary schools ESL teachers in Malaysia.

In addition according to Krejcie and Morgan (1970) the researcher required a sample size of 113. However, only 79 respondents cooperated for this study. The ESL teachers who were excluded in this study were in courses, doing further study, on medical leave and maternity leave and some of them were on personal leave.

1.7 Operational Definition of Terms

Burnout :Freudenberger (1974) defined burnout as one of the chronic exhaustion and frustration resulting from continued commitment to a goal or principle that has unsuccessful to produce a corresponding reward. Within the scope of the present study, burnout refers to ESL teachers' experience of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and reduced personal accomplishment based on the well-known definition by Maslach (1976) as well as Maslach and Jackson (1981).

Emotional Exhaustion : Feelings of being emotionally overextended and exhausted by one's daily conflict in work. In this study, following Gavrilovici (2007), the term is defined as the lack of passion and the sense of emotional draining by other people among the teachers. As the first dimension of burnout, emotional exhaustion in this study is measured by items like

I feel emotionally drained from my work

Depersonalization: An insensitive and impersonal response toward receivers of one's concern, care, service or instruction (Maslach, Jackson, & Leiter, 1996). Thus, it can result in the form of impassiveness and cynicism toward co-workers, clients and the organization(Ali & Hamdy, 2005). In this study, it is measured by items like

I feel I treat some students as if they were impersonal objects

Personal Accomplishment : It is defined as feelings of competency and successful achievement in one's work and one's self capability in classroom and professional efficacy (Gavrilovici, 2007). In this study, items like

I feel I am positively influencing other people's lives through my work, helped the researcher measure teachers' personal accomplishment.

CHAPTER 2

LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Introduction

In this chapter the previous studies on burnout and its three dimensions are presented. Next, studies that investigated burnout and its connection with working experience are discussed. The chapter also includes a review of the literature on burnout in relation to teaching levels of primary and secondary schools. Finally, the theoretical and conceptual frameworks of the study are discussed.

2.2 Studies Related to Burnout and its Dimensions

Ideally, the teaching profession should be seen as effect ion of love in work and enthusiastic; however, various studies have shown that today it has been changed as a stressful job (Travers & Cooper, 1996; Kyriacou, 2001; Kyriakides, Campbell & Christofidou, 2002). Moreover, today's teaching job is quite complicated as teachers have to carry out not only teaching but also matters associated with curriculum, students, parents, the school community and departmental initiatives. According to Smylie (1999), “These are tough times to be a teacher” (p. 59). These issues of distress in the teaching profession may be the culprits for increased burnout levels.

Generally, individuals who work face to face with people may experience burnout. Burnout can be a primary cause to an individual who suffers from this symptoms and also people around them (Landeche, 2009). Burnout in the teaching profession has frequently been investigated and has globally been well accepted as being problematic for teachers (Cherniss, 1995; Guglielmi & Tatrow, 1998).

Burnout was first introduced by Herbert Freudenberger in 1974. It was defined as wearing down or draining out of energy (Freudenberger & North, 1985). Burnout may render people unable to cope with their problems. Those who are unable to cope with their problems of work issues may exhibit a lower level of job performance quality.

Burnout is a sophisticated state of mental strain, the center of which is emotional exhaustion (Maslach & Jackson, 1981). The thought of going to work is a common symptom of emotional exhaustion. Often this can be exacerbated as individuals become frustrated or angry with themselves as they realize they cannot give the same kind of enthusiasm as in the past to the company or administrator. However, New York Magazine stated burnout is "a problem that's both physical and existential, an untidy conglomeration of external symptoms and personal frustrations" (Senior, 2006).

Burnout results from a form of chronic stress associated with the everyday interactions and close contact with others that is required in people's work (Pennington, 1992). Teachers are among the people that are highly exposed to burnout because they entertain their students' every day in school. Teaching line at times can be very dissatisfying and it is a painstaking job (Cikla & Duatepe, 2004).

Most of burnout research that had been done has been limited to the helping profession (e.g., nursing, education, social work); however, the construct is pervasive, cutting across many types of organizations and jobs (Cordes & Dougherty, 1993). In conjunction with that, Stoeber and Rennert (2008) conducted research involving different cultures. They found that school teachers have one of the highest levels of work stress. Societal changes, increased workload or work tasks, education system transformation, change of moral and normative quality of teachers' work (where teachers are expected to influence students' lives to a greater level than in the past), and multitasking have caused teachers work to increase in intensity and become more complicated (Brante, 2009).

Burnout can develop negative job feelings, low professional in self-perceptive and losing of empathy for clients (Maslach & Pines, 1984). The burnout syndrome is explained in three dimensions: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and diminished personal accomplishment (Maslach & Pines, 1984). According to Maslach (1976), people who always have interactions with others can undergo repetitious emotional pressure.

The construct of emotional exhaustion imply the thoughts of overtiredness and overextension caused by every day work force, and workplace conflicts. While, depersonalization is referring to the growth of negative feelings and impersonal responses towards the people they works closely which affect the continual relations among helpers (for example, teachers) and clients (for example, students). Reduced personal accomplishment means a loss of self esteem and work accomplishment as a consequence of limited positive feedback and recognition and competency in personal affairs at work (Maslach & Jackson, 1981; Rowe, 1998).

In line with that, Burke and Greenglass (1995) suggested that burnout which includes three components “that are conceptually diverse but empirically related” (p.188). Schaufeli and Buunk (2002) considered the occurrence of teachers' difficulties is characterized in the three dimensions, including (1) a physical dimension concerning to exhaustion as an external symptom, (2) a mental distancing from regular teacher activities, and (3) a reduced professional effectiveness.

Some studies indicate stress can occur due to the workload increment, mischievous students, parent-teacher relationship issues, misunderstandings among colleagues, no support or very poor school leadership and lack of autonomy (Skaalvik & Skaalvik, 2007). The longer a teacher works, the less job satisfaction they exhibit. This paves the way to an increase in emotional exhaustion (EE) and a reduction in personal accomplishment (PA).

Most recognized that teaching profession has one of the largest occupational pressures. Burnout influences most of the teachers at some point of their teaching profession (Cheek, Bradley, Parr & Lan, 2003; Dorman, 2003; Schwab & Iwanicki, 1982). Teachers' burnout can have consequences for their professions (Wood & McCarthy, 2002). Moreover, when burnout increases in teachers' profession, it makes them hate their career and it affects their students' achievement (Dworkin, 1985). Farber and Miller (1981) notable that teachers who experience symptoms of burnout might:

  • be less sympathetic with their students
  • have low tolerance for frustration
  • not plan often or carefully
  • consider or plan to leave the profession all together
  • report feelings of emotional or physical exhaustion on a frequent basis
  • be depressed, irritable, and anxious

From the professional point of view, burnout can lead to a significant fall in teaching performance, frequent absenteeism due to illness and early retirement. Teachers who suffer from burnout may behave rigidly towards their students, and have negative and low expectations of students, and they may feel exhausted emotionally and physically, and show low levels of involvement in teaching or concern for their students (Maslach, 1976; Spaniol & Caputo, 1979; Farber & Miller, 1981).

In the United States, teacher burnout has become a topic receiving national attention (Blase, 1986; Huston 1989). A survey of American literature by Farber (1991) showed that approximately 5-20 percent of all teachers in the United States will be burned out at a given moment in their career.

In Malaysia, the unease over job-related stress, experienced by school teachers, has been raised to a great extent by the National Union of the Teaching Profession or NUTP (Abdul Muin Sapidin, 2005). As it can be observed from the findings of the local research in both primary and secondary schools a considerable proportion of teachers suffer from stress. The teachers who experienced high levels of stress, in each research, included 17.5% (Mokhtar Ahmad, 1998), 21.3% (Mohd Razali Othman & Abd. Mat Abg. Masagus, 1998) and 36.8% (Malakolunthu, 1994). These researchers have reported various factors as the sources of stress in their samples, including students' attitude, workload, and having to teach poorly motivated students. A research by Mukundan and Khandehroo (2009) found that burnout was evident among Malaysian English teachers at high levels in all dimensions. However, there is a lack of attempt to measure the burnout level involved in ESL teaching in the country.

2.3 Studies Related to Working Experience and Burnout

Teacher development is a dynamic journey. The occurrence of work stress of teachers has increased in recent years. While educators were a strong element in influencing education resolution and encouraged by varies class of people since 30 to 40 years ago, this begin to change particularly starting the mid-70s (Iwanicki, 1983; Gunduz, 2005). Until now, more than 1,000 studies on burnout done by the researchers and it can be considered the "gold standard" research where teachers who have spent many years in the profession also been involved (Schaufeli & Enzmann, 1998).

The demographics variables that may influence burnout include the teacher's age, gender, marital status, education background, working hours, time spent in former workplace, experience, sensitivity of their job and their self perceptions about quality of teaching (Johnson, Gold & Knepper, 1984; Qtd. in Aksoy, 2007, p. 20).

Researchers have found that age and teaching experience are related to teacher stress level (Yahaya, Hashim, & Kim, 2005). Moreover, studies carried out in Malaysia identified several factors contributing to stress and burnt out at work among teachers, such as years of experience in teaching (Mokhtar, 1998), the feelings of responsibility and working environment (Ismail, 1998), the school type and perceptions of inadequate school facilities (Chan, 2006) and use of information technology (Hanizah, 2003).

Moreover, studies have shown that teachers' burnout often experiences an aggravated phase at some point in the middle of their teaching experience that is about teaching after 15 years or so. This is when teachers may feel frustrated with teaching or working to meet the level of step-down. As a result, they often feel helplessness and fatigue. In American and Australian study found that newer teachers were more likely to experience higher burnout than more experienced ones (Crane & Iwanicki, 1986; Pierce & Molloy, 1990). The relationship between the level of burnout and teaching experience may be explained by the intention that feeling burnout could be reduced as a result of trained maturity.

Attention to the teacher's experience is also given by Konert (1997). She suggests that better coping skills with students have been developed by more experienced teachers than less experienced teachers, and they might have acquired more realistic expectations over the time about their profession.

Generally, teachers who are less experienced are in need of help from their seniors or experienced teachers. The experienced teachers will try to solve the problem by themselves. However, these teachers also need to sacrifice their time. This indicates experience could also be a crucial factor that can influence burnout. Leong (1995) stated that development of effective methodology to cope with various factors that lead to stress may be handled more effectively by the teacher with more experience.

Studies showed that a teacher without experience is more likely to be an ‘interventionist' than a highly experienced teacher (Martin et al., 2002). On the other hand, another study shows that an experienced teacher is more likely to be an ‘interventionist' (Martin et al., 2002). Here the ‘interventionist' refers to the teachers' beliefs and attitudes toward classroom management in three broad dimensions which are instructional management, people management, and behavior management with reference to working experience. More research is required to resolve such inconsistencies in previous research findings.

Less experienced teachers may suffer from burnout as a result of a feeling of powerlessness. A teacher who experiences low self-esteem and out-of-the-way from students will not be able to perform well. Shukla and Trivedi (2008) state that, “Burnout is not a trivial problem but it is an important parameter of a major social dysfunction in the work place” (p. 324).

In addition to that, teacher burnout has been shown to have negative effects on teacher and student performance (Huberman & Vandenberghe, 1999; Maslach & Leiter, 1999). Teachers who are confused on their job specifications will develop feelings of depersonalization. Dissatisfaction and increases in tiredness, increases with work pressures, and role conflict (Viswesvaran et al., 1999). Again, less experienced teachers may feel high levels of burnout as they have to cope with the changes in a new environment. Less experienced teachers are more likely to experience burnout and conflict-inducing attitudes towards the students (Sava, 2001).

In a study in southwest United States, 51 elementary school teachers were involved in the study using music therapy techniques to treat teacher burnout (Cheek, Bradley, Parr & Lan, 2003). The results showed that burnout also influences most teachers at some point in their working experiences (Cheek et. al., 2003). A study on the age and years of teaching experience of the agriculture teacher are related to depersonalization scores and no significant relationships were found between years of teaching experience and emotional exhaustion and personal accomplishment (Croom, 2003). Obviously, as teachers grow older and more experienced, they will alleviate coping skills in tendency to treat students in an impersonal manner.

In line with that, teaching competency is an additional determining stressor for less experienced teachers with limited training, as research shows significant differences between the novice and the experienced, the trained and untrained, as well as those with and without full qualifications (Chan & Juriani, 2010). In other words, teaching capability is a factor which causes the teachers who lack training and experience to feel more stressful than the other teachers.

In Malaysia, a study by Mukundan and Khandehroo (2009) indicated less experienced ESL teachers had a higher level of emotional exhaustion as compared to experienced teachers. Such findings imply that less experienced teachers are more responsive to their students than the experienced ones.

In contrast, Hong Kong studies found that no significant difference has been found between teachers with various years of teaching experience in perceived stress level (Alan, Chan, Chen, Elaine & Chong, 2010).

However, connection can be seen from previous study in Turkey. It involves 523 teachers from 50 primary public schools. The researcher sought to find out to what extent teaching experience variables predict burnout among primary school teachers. The results of the study indicated that working experience can be considered as significant predictors of emotional exhaustion dimension of burnout (Yalçın Ozdemir, 2007).

From the literature it may be seen that burnout is a complex issue that should be addressed in reference to working experience. In the present study, another variable which is teaching level and the literature related to it will be discussed.

2.4Studies Related to Teaching Level and Burnout

Studying on the issue of burnout among primary and secondary school teachers is important for the administration and teachers to work together to improve the working environment and reduce the burnout.

In Malaysia, a survey conducted among 9,000 primary, secondary and technical school teachers revealed that 67% of Malaysian teachers suffer from stress (NUTP, 2005).

From a few existing studies in the literature, researchers found primary and secondary school teachers in Hong Kong perceived different levels of stress. Teachers of primary schools perceived a significantly higher level of stress than those in secondary schools. Issues of class cuts and teachers' career instability could be the main reasons for such results (Alan, Chan, Chen, Elaine & Chong, 2010).

A study on the relationship between primary school teachers' burnout and some of their demographic variables in Turkish cities found that burnout levels of the teachers are low (Cikla & Duatepe, 2004). By contrast, a study in Antalya, Turkey by Ali (2009) considers the relationship between teachers' burnout and organizational health in primary schools. The findings show that teachers' burnout level is low in emotional exhaustion and personal accomplishment and high in depersonalization.

Based on a study conducted on emotion regulation ability, burnout and job satisfaction among British secondary school teachers it was found that a significant relationship exists between emotion regulation ability and a component of burnout, personal accomplishment (Brackett, Palomera, Mojsa, Reyes & Salovey, 2010). However, a study on emotional intelligence and locus of control as predictors of burnout among secondary school teachers in Ondo State, Nigeria indicated that both emotional intelligence and locus of control significantly could predict burnout among secondary school teachers (Akomolafe & Popoola, 2011).

In Malaysia, it was found that English teachers (n=184) teaching in Malaysian primary and secondary schools in Malacca experience burnout at high levels in all three dimensions of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and personal accomplishment (Mukundan & Khandehroo, 2009). In addition, in a research project conducted by Segumpan and Bahari (2006) among 1209 teachers from 14 secondary schools in Malacca, it was found that 57.2% of the respondents had high stress levels because of the students' misbehavior. In contrast, in a study on stress among teachers in secondary schools in Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia, it was found that 74% of secondary school teachers experienced low levels of stress (Azlihanis, Nyi Nyi, Aziah, Rusli, & Mohd Rahim, 2009).

Moreover, a study showed that role conflict, role ambiguity, role overload, and lack of administrative support significantly predict burnout among girls' secondary school teachers in Kinta, Perak (Leong, 1995). In line with that, another study in Kinta, Perak showed that burnout among teachers are significantly related to social support, working environment and role overload. The boys' secondary school teachers were experience higher level of burnout and teachers from girls' secondary schools experience low level of burnout (Mohd Puat, 1998).

As it can be seen from the reviewed literature, there is very little research on burnout and the teaching level and hence a need for further studies.

2.5 Theoretical and Conceptual Framework of the Study

Figure 1 shows the theoretical framework for this study. Basically, emotional exhaustion plus depersonalization and reduced personal accomplishment will influence burnout. In specific terms, a high score on the emotional exhaustion subscale and a high score on depersonalization subscale and a low score on personal accomplishment subscale will indicate a high level of burnout: (EE + DP) - PA = BURNOUT.

Based on this theoretical framework, the following conceptual framework was proposed (Figure 2):

IV

DV

Context

Figure 2: Conceptual framework

As the figure shows, the independent variables (IV) are working experience of ESL teachers (>10 years and <10 years) and their teaching level (primary and secondary schools). The dependent variables (DV) are emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and personal accomplishment which may identify the burnout level among primary and secondary schools ESL teachers in Putrajaya (Figure 2).

CHAPTER 3

METHODOLOGY

3.1 Introduction

In this chapter, the researcher will discuss the design, location, population, sample, sample size and sampling technique of the study. MBI-ES or Maslach Burnout Inventory - Educators Survey (1986), as the instrument will be explained. Finally, the procedures of data collection and analysis will be discussed.

3.2 Research Design

The research design used for the purpose of this study is quantitative method. Smith (1988) mentioned that quantitative method is a statistical analysis of a body of numerical data which involves counting and measuring of events. The main advantage of the quantitative method is that measurement is reliable, valid, and generalizable where clear prediction of cause and effect can be seen (Cassell & Symon, 1994). This study used a survey method to gather the data. A survey was used because it was more manageable to collect the data needed within a short time frame. A questionnaire was used to collect data. According to Oxford (1996), “questionnaire are the most efficient and comprehensive way' to assess data” (p. 28).

3.3 Location of Study

Putrajaya was made a Federal Territory in 2001. Kuala Lumpur and Labuan are the other two. Putrajaya was the brainchild of the former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammad who was in power then. It is known as the federal administrative centre of Malaysia which is a planned city. The population is expected to grow in this new city. Over 30,000, population was estimated in 2007 which comprised mainly government servants including teachers. The educational system and administration in this city are expected to be very outstanding. The schools selected for this study were 21 (11 primary and 10 secondary) government-sponsored schools. The population included ESL teachers (N=160) who teach in different levels. These ESL teachers are among 1, 205 of overall teachers in Putrajaya who also responsible to teach 14, 115 students (Data from EMis Online, 31 October, 2010).

3.4 Sampling Procedure

This study was conducted among primary and secondary school ESL teachers in Federal Territory of Putrajaya. As from 160 ESL teachers only 79 respondents answered the questionnaire (49.4% return rate). Based on the school administrator list, most of the ESL teachers are Malays' with a few from other ethnicities. The researcher contacted the respondents through the school administration.

The respondents were 79 ESL teachers (37 primary and 42 secondary school teachers) who teach in Federal Territory of Putrajaya. These teachers are from government-sponsored schools. They are 20 (25.3%) male and 59 (74.7%) female teachers. The age ranged from 26 to 55 years old. They consisted of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and Kadazan ethnic groups. These ESL teachers' working experience ranged from 1 to 30 years of teaching. These teachers came from various categories of schools in Putrajaya, including Sekolah Berprestasi Tinggi (High Performance School), Sekolah Kluster (Cluster School), Sekolah Bestari (Smart School), Sekolah Cemerlang Ko-Kurikulum (Co-Curricular Excellence School), Sekolah Berasrama Penuh (Boarding School) and Sekolah Harian (Daily School).

3.4.1 Sample Size

The sample size of the study as calculated by following Krejcie and Morgan's (1970) formula:

S = required sample size

X2 = the table value of chi-square for one degree of freedom at the desired confidence level

N = the population size

P = the population proportion (assumed to be .50 since this would provide the maximum sample size)

d = the degree of accuracy expressed as a proportion (.05)

As the result of the calculation showed the suitable sample size for this study was 113 respondents. The questionnaire was distributed to 21 schools which were primary and secondary government-sponsored schools. A total of 79 respondents returned their questionnaire.

3.4.2 Sampling Technique

Random sampling was chosen as the quantitative sampling method. Cluster sampling was the most appropriate for the study because the sample could be chosen based on area and subject. At the first stage, the areas of Putrajaya were chosen and at the second stage, a sample of respondents within those areas was selected.

3.5 Instrument

In order to collect the data for this study, a questionnaire, Maslach Burnout Inventory - Educators Survey was employed (MBI; Maslach, Jackson, & Schwab, 1986). It is a 22 items self-report instrument which known as “the most widely used operationalisation of burnout” (Lee & Ashforth, 1996, p. 124). The MBI - ES has been noted to show strong psychometric properties which include factorial, convergent, and discriminant validity (Sweeney & Summers, 2002; Maslach, Jackson & Leiter, 1996). In addition, the MBI is the most generally accepted and widely used instrument to measure burnout (Sweeney & Summers, 2002; Capel, 1986). So far, more than 1,000 studies have used the MBI to assess burnout so it can be considered the gold standard for measuring the construct (Schaufeli & Enzmann, 1998).

The MBI - ES consists of 22 items which measure burnout on three subscales: Emotional Exhaustion (EE) - Continual emotional tiredness resulting from psychotherapy and teaching a great number of students on daily basis. A sample of an EE item would be: ‘I feel emotionally drained from my work'. Depersonalization (DP) -Indifference and a pessimistic approach toward students specified by utilizing disapproving labels to describe them. A sample of a DP item is: ‘I feel I treat some students as if they were impersonal objects'. Finally, Personal Accomplishment (PA) - Involvement of a teacher to make the students well-being and be an intellectual person. A sample of PA statement would be ‘I feel I'm positively influencing other people's lives through my work'.

The questionnaire is rated based on a Likert style 7-point scale: 0 = Never; 1 = A few times a year or less; 2 = Once a month or less; 3 = A few times a month; 4 = Once a week; 5 = A few times a week; and 6 = Every day. The items that measure emotional exhaustion are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 (9 items). The items that measure depersonalization are 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 (5 items). Finally, the items that measure personal accomplishment include 15, 16,17,18,19, 20, 21 and 22 (8 items). In addition to that, 8 from these 22 items are reverse items: 4, 7, 9, 12, 15, 16, 20 and 22.

The MBI distinguishes the burnout syndrome in terms of a) high level of emotional exhaustion, b) high levels of depersonalization, c) reduced level of personal accomplishment (Yildiz-Kirilmaz, Celen & Sarp, 2003; Schwarzer, Schmitz & Tang, 2000). According to previous established criteria by Brenninkmeijer and VanYperen (2003), participants who were responded with a high score on the emotional exhaustion together with a high score on depersonalization or a low score on personal accomplishment can be classified as having burnout.

A demographic questionnaire was appended to the questionnaire. The demographics of the ESL teachers would elicit information about the participants' gender, age, marital status, ethnicity, teaching level, working experience and level of education.

The three-factor structure of the instrument has been validated. Test-retest reliabilities were reported as .65 for Emotional Exhaustion, .60 for Depersonalization, and .67 for Personal Accomplishment. Moreover, the test-retest reliabilities for the three subscales were .60 for Emotional Exhaustion, .54 for depersonalization, and .57 for Personal Accomplishment (Jackson, Schwab, & Schuler, 1986). Subsequent studies have found the MBI subscales to be stable over time, with correlations in the .50 to .82 range on time spans of three months to one year (Leiter & Durup, 1996). Iwanicki and Schwab report Cronbach's alpha estimation for Emotional Exhaustion was .90, Depersonalization was .76 and Personal Accomplishment was .76 too, while Gold (1984) reports estimates of .90, .74 and .72 respectively. These reliabilities parallel those of the MBI.

Additionally, two studies also tested the validity and reliability of MBI-ES. Factor-analytic studies by Iwanicki and Schwab (1981) with 469 Massachusetts teachers and by Gold (1984) with 462 California teachers support the three-factor structure of the MBI-ES.

3.6 Data Collection

Data collection was done over a period of one week. An official letter was written to get the permission from the headmasters or school administration. The MBI-ES questionnaires were sent to the 21 selected government-sponsored schools in Putrajaya. The questionnaires were given to the selected teachers in the schools. The school administrators were informed that after one week, the questionnaires would be collected.

The researcher faced problems while conducting the survey. Some schools administrators did not cooperate in distributing the questionnaires among their ESL teachers due their busy schedules. As a result, 160 questionnaires were administered and a return rate of 49.4% (79) was achieved. The respondents were assured anonymity for all the data collected.

3.7 Data Analysis

Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) 17.0 for Windows was used to analyze the data.

Descriptive statistics such as percentages and frequency distributions were used to describe participants' demographic information. Moreover, means and standard deviations were used to see the difference between primary and secondary schools ESL teachers' burnout scores. Independents samples t-test was used to test any significant differences between the sample's burnout scores in reference to their working experience and teaching levels.

CHAPTER 4

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

4.1 Introduction

This chapter looks into the results of the analysis of the data collected. The results in this study are presented in means and standard deviations in tables. The findings related to each question are presented in order.

4.2 Demographic Information

A total of 79 respondents were involved in this study. They were 20 (25.3%) male and 59 (74.7%) female teachers. Among the respondents, 46.8% were from primary and 53.2% from secondary schools. The ESL teachers who had less than 10 years of working experience were 64.6% whereas 35.4% had more than 10 years of working experience. Among these respondents, 59 (74.7%) were married, 18 (22.8%) were single and 2 (2.5%) single parents. Majority of the respondents were Malay (73 out of 79; 92.4%). There were also 2 Chinese, 3 Indian and 1 from ethnicity of Kadazan.

4.3 Reliability Results

A Cronbach's alpha of .60 or more indicates an acceptable level of reliability in the social sciences and humanities. According to DeVellis (2003), the range of coefficient alpha values generally are classified as minimally acceptable (.60-.64), acceptable (.65-.70), good (.70-.75), very good (.75-.80), and excellent (.80 and above). In the present study, the corresponding Cronbach's alpha scores were 0.71 for Emotional Exhaustion, 0.68 for Depersonalization and 0.67 for Personal Accomplishment (Table 1).

Table 1: Reliability Results

Dimensions

Cronbach's Alpha

Emotional Exhaustion

.713

Depersonalization

.678

Personal Accomplishment

.666

As the table shows, the reliability of the scores achieved for DP and PA items was acceptable while the reliability of EE items was observed to be good.

4.4 Quantitative Analysis and Discussion

In this part, the results of the data analyses related with each research question were given. The research questions of the study were sub-heading as follows:

4.4.1 Emotional Exhaustion Levels

The first research question sought to find out the level of emotional exhaustion among Putrajaya ESL teachers. As the descriptive statistics results of the teachers' scores showed, they suffered from moderate levels of emotional exhaustion. The mean score was 21.63 or (M = 21.63, SD = 8.15), which according to the criteria (17-26) is a moderate level (Table 2).

4.4.2 Depersonalization Levels

The second research question sought to find out the level of depersonalization among Putrajaya ESL teachers. As the descriptive statistics results of the teachers' scores showed, they suffered from moderate levels of depersonalization. The mean score was 11.15 or (M = 11.15, SD = 5.94), which according to the criteria (7-12) is a moderate level (Table 2).

4.4.3 Personal Accomplishment Levels

The third research question sought to find out the level of personal accomplishment among Putrajaya ESL teachers. As the descriptive statistics results of the teachers' scores showed, the teachers had moderate levels of personal accomplishment. The mean score was 34.19 or (M = 34.19, SD = 6.93), which according to the criteria (32-38 mean score) is a moderate level (Table 2).

Table 2: Response Categories for Emotional Exhaustion, Depersonalization and Personal Accomplishment on the Maslach Burnout Inventory - Educators Survey

Response Category

Emotional Exhaustion

Depersonalization

Personal Accomplishment

High

27 or over

13 or over

0-31

Moderate

17-26

7-12

32-38

Low

0-16

0-6

39 or over

The response categories and their corresponding values for emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and personal accomplishment on the Maslach Burnout Inventory - Educators Survey (Maslach, Jackson & Leiter, 1996) are presented in Table 2. The interpretation scores of burnout dimensions are based on the Table 3 mean scores where shown clearly in Table 2.

Table 3: Descriptive Statistics Results for Burnout Dimensions

Burnout

N

Mean

SD

Emotional Exhaustion

79

21.6329

8.14638

Depersonalization

79

11.1519

5.94438

Personal Accomplishment

79

34.1899

6.93019

Interpretation scores:

{Emotional Exhaustion: <16 (low), 17-26 (moderate), 27> (high)}

{Depersonalization: <6 (low), 7-12 (moderate), 13> (high)}

{Personal Accomplishment: >39 (low), 32-38 (moderate), <31(high)}

The present study revealed that the teachers represent moderate levels of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and personal accomplishment. Therefore, it can be concluded that the level of burnout among Putrajaya ESL teachers is moderate. Literature reports that moderate burnout demonstrates moderate scores with all three subscales (Maslach, Jackson & Leiter, 1996).

These results were different from those of a study by Ali (2009) which showed that teachers' burnout level was low in emotional exhaustion and personal accomplishment and high in depersonalization. Nevertheless, a study among English teachers teaching in Malaysian primary and secondary schools in Malacca experiencing burnout at high levels in all three dimensions of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and reduced personal accomplishment (Mukundan & Khandehroo, 2009).

4.4.4 Burnout and Working Experience

The fourth research question was posed to find out whether there is a significant difference between high and low experienced teachers and their burnout scores. Table 4 shows the descriptive statistics results:

Table 4: Mean and Standard Deviation for Burnout Dimensions with Reference to Working Experience

Burnout

Working Experience

N

Mean

SD

Emotional Exhaustion

<10

51

21.7647

7.50623

>10

28

21.3929

9.34261

Depersonalization

<10

51

10.8824

5.91489

>10

28

11.6429

6.07493

Personal Accomplishment

<10

51

33.9804

6.86292

>10

28

34.5714

7.16177

The table shows the mean and standard deviation for burnout dimensions with reference to working experience (Table 4). It was found that teachers with the working experience less than 10 years have moderate level of emotional exhaustion (M = 21.76, SD = 7.51) and followed by teachers who have more than 10 years of working experience (M = 21.40, SD = 9.34). Regarding the level of depersonalization both groups of teachers indicated moderate level of depersonalization. Personal accomplishment of teachers with less and more than 10 years of working experience revealed to be moderate. The overall score was moderate for all the three items which represent emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and personal accomplishment for both less than 10 years and more than 10 years working experience.

However, the results of independent samples t-test (Table 5) revealed that there is no significant mean difference in the Emotional Exhaustion, t(77) = .193, p=.117; Depersonalization, t(77) = -.541, p=.708; and Personal Accomplishment, t(77) = -.361, p=.980; between high (>10 years) and low (<10 years) experienced teachers.

Table 5: Independent Samples t-test between Working Experience and Burnout

___________________________________________________________

tdf p___________________________________________________________

EE .193 77 .117

DP -.541 77 .708

PA -.361 77 .980

___________________________________________________________

Note:

EE = Emotional Exhaustion; DP = Depersonalization; PA = Personal Accomplishment

p < .05

Moreover, the independent samples t-test shows that there is no significant difference between high and low experienced teachers with regard to emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and personal accomplishment. So, it can be concluded that working experience does not affect all the three dimensions of burnout significantly. This result supports the finding of a study conducted in Hong Kong where no significant difference was found among teachers with different years of teaching experience in perceived stress level (Alan, Chan, Chen, Elaine & Chong, 2010).

4.4.5 Burnout and Teaching Level

The last question was whether there is a significant difference between burnout scores of the ESL primary and secondary school teachers.

According to the results there is no significant difference between burnout scores of the ESL primary and secondary school teachers. Both groups of school teachers represent a moderate level of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and personal accomplishment.

Table 6 shows the mean and standard deviation for burnout dimensions with reference to teaching level. The teachers were divided into the two groups of primary and secondary school teachers. It was found that teachers in both types of schools represent a moderate level of emotional exhaustion (M = 20.78, SD = 7.09, M = 22.38, SD = 9.00). Regarding the level of depersonalization both groups of teachers indicated a moderate level of depersonalization. Personal accomplishment of teachers in primary and secondary schools appeared to be moderate as well. The overall score was moderate for all the three items which represent emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and personal accomplishment for both primary and secondary schools.

Table 6: Mean and Standard Deviation for Burnout Dimensions with Reference to Teaching Level

Burnout

Teaching Level

N

Mean

SD

Emotional Exhaustion

Primary

37

20.7838

7.08729

Secondary

42

22.3810

8.99580

Depersonalization

Primary

37

9.5135

5.08605

Secondary

42

12.5952

6.32093

Personal Accomplishment

Primary

37

36.0000

6.09645

Secondary

42

32.5952

7.29203

These findings were in contrast to a study on English teachers teaching in Malaysian primary and secondary schools in Malacca who reportedly experienced burnout at high levels in all three dimensions of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and reduced personal accomplishment (Mukundan & Khandehroo, 2009). Additionally, in another study by Alan, Chan, Chen, Elaine and Chong (2010) it was found that teachers of primary schools showed significantly a higher level of stress than those in secondary schools in Hong Kong.

Table 7: Independent Samples t-test between Teaching Level and Burnout

___________________________________________________________

tdf p___________________________________________________________

EE -.868 77 .178

DP -2.366 77 .078

PA 2.234 77 .061

___________________________________________________________

Note:

EE = Emotional Exhaustion; DP = Depersonalization; PA = Personal Accomplishment

p < .05

In supportive, the results of independent samples t-test (Table 7) also revealed that there is no significant mean difference in the Emotional Exhaustion, t(77) = -.868, p=.178; Depersonalization, t(77) = -2.366, p=.078; and Personal Accomplishment, t(77) = 2.234, p=.061; between primary and secondary school teachers.

These finding were in contrast to a study on the relationship between primary school teachers' burnout and some of their demographic variables in Turkish cities found that burnout levels of the teachers are low (Cikla & Duatepe, 2004). Brouwers and Tomic (2000) concluded that both to prevent and to treat burnout among school teachers, self-efficacy in classroom management must be taken into consideration when devising interventions.

CHAPTER 5

CONCLUSION

5.1 Introduction

There are three major sections in this chapter. These sections include the summary of findings, followed by implications and recommendation where some insights for future research direction will be given.

5.2 Summary of Findings

Teachers are one of the most important factors in the teaching and learning process. Their attitudes towards the subject (ESL) and their burnout levels have an influence on students' learning and attitudes towards school.

The objective of this study was to determine the level of the three dimensions of burnout among the sample. The study also compared the burnout levels of the sample in references to their working experience and teaching level. For this purpose, 79 ESL teachers cooperated by responding to a questionnaire. As the results indicated, the ESL teachers in this study were found to experience moderate levels of burnout. Furthermore, no significant difference was found between low and high experienced teachers in their burnout. As continued, no significant difference was found between the primary and secondary school teachers in Putrajaya. Teachers in all categories exhibited a moderate level of burnout.

5.3 Implications

Burnout should not be ignored. Ever since the 1980s, stress and burnout have become serious issues affecting millions of workers (Farber, 1983). Due to its stressful nature, the teaching profession is a target of burnout (Cherniss, 1980; Jarvis, 2002; Maslach, 1982; Weisberg & Sagie, 1999).

The findings of this study show that the ESL teachers in Putrajaya represent moderate burnout. It is expected that the results make the decision makers more aware of the phenomenon of burnout so that they take measures that help teachers reduce their burnout levels as continued increases in stress levels would affect the teachers' performance and in turn the quality of the entire educational system. In addition to that, the findings of this study provide valuable information for both schools (primary and secondary) and ESL teachers in Putrajaya. Teachers can take steps to avoid aggravating their burnout levels and to be more professional in managing their work. Moreover, ESL teachers and administrators can explore factors that contribute to burnout. This will prevent the English as Second Language teachers in Putrajaya from being overly stressed or burnt out at work.

A few ways to prevent burnout are a combination of organizational change and education for the individual. This may prevent teachers from being burnt out. Workshops, conferences and other professional development courses should be offered by experts to ESL teachers in Putrajaya to deal with their burnout. Therefore, professional development programs should also consider teachers with both high and low teaching experiences (Mukundan, Hajimohammadi & Nimehchisalem, 2011). In line with that, it has been suggested that the school administration should help the teachers overcome the syndrome of burnout by granting more opportunities for extracurricular activities (Mukundan & Khandehroo, 2009). In this way, administrators will have better understanding of the present educational situation and this will improve teachers' efficiency in primary and secondary schools in Putrajaya and consequently result in students' better performance.

5.4 Recommendations

Some areas from the finding in this study could be further researched. It is recommended that this study should be replicated in the other two federal territories of Malaysia: Federal Territory of Labuan and Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur. The results of such a study can be compared to those of the present study in Federal Territory of Putrajaya.

The researcher also suggests that religious belief may prevent the occurrence of burnout by nurturing a sense of belonging to promote relationship and support with both God and with community as highlighted in National Philosophy of Education (NPE). Education in Malaysia should be an unending attempt towards promoting the potential of individuals who are intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically balanced and harmonious based on a strong belief and devotion to God. Research on this variable can show whether this objective has been followed by the teachers and whether it has helped them avoid burnout.

Finally, further research seems necessary to determine the effect of students' learning in increasing or decreasing the probability of burnout among ESL teachers.

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