School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Gail Collins


educators, academic stress, secondary students, coping, mindset


Education | Educational Psychology


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand the lived experience of educators who sought to recognize and address academic stress in secondary students. The theory guiding this study was Lazarus and Folkman’s transactional model of stress as it relates to the ways educators experience the appraisal, stress, and coping of students facing academic stress. Dweck’s growth mindset theory was applied to frame educators’ perspectives of student growth potential. The study participants consisted of 10 middle and high school educators from a suburban school district in Massachusetts. Participants were selected based on their years of experience in education and ability to provide meaningful data. Data collection consisted of interviews, a focus group, and participant letters. Moustakas’s approach to phenomenological data analysis was applied. The educator participants in this study recognized academic stress through students’ presentation and intervened with mindset strategies, coping strategies, and strategies they had developed over their careers.