School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Tracey Pritchard


Teacher Burnout, Emotional Empathy, Correlational Study, Job Satisfaction, Public School Teachers


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Leadership


Recent research has shown that teacher burnout is a contributing factor to many teachers leaving the field of education early on in their careers. Many teachers of all levels and subjects leave before ever reaching their full potential due to decreased job-satisfaction and the overwhelming symptoms of burnout crippling other areas of their life. Emotional exhaustion is a major component of burnout. Thus, emotional empathy may be related to teacher burnout. In this quantitative, correlational and causal-comparative study, the researcher examined the relationship between emotional empathy and teacher burnout among K-12 teachers. Further, the researcher investigated whether the relationship between emotional empathy and burnout was more significant among teachers of different instructional assignments. The researcher drew from a sample of 50 regular education and 50 special education teachers from five, rural school districts. Teachers completed a set of instruments: the Maslach Burnout MBI-Educators Survey (MBI-ES) and The Questionnaire Measure of Emotional Empathy (QMEE), via an online survey. Using a linear regression, the researcher examined the relationship between the participant scores on the Questionnaire Measure of Emotional Empathy and the participant scores on Maslach Burnout Inventory-Educator’s Survey scores. Using an independent samples t-test, the researcher also compared the levels of burnout and empathy among regular education teachers and special education teachers. A significant relationship was found between emotional empathy and burnout among both regular education and special education teachers. There was no significant difference between emotional empathy or burnout scores of regular and special education teachers.