Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2024

Document Type

Dissertation (799 registration)

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Ximena Suarez-Sousa


special education teacher burnout, burnout in special education, special education teacher retention, special education teacher attrition


Teacher burnout is an increasing concern as Minnesota state data indicates more teachers leaving the profession in the first five years of their career and fewer individuals emerging from teacher preparation programs. The area of special education continues to be an area of need as the state continues to report special education licenses as areas of deficit to meet the need across the state. The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a correlation between burnout and attrition in special education teachers and to analyze the factors contributing to these issues. A voluntary questionnaire was emailed to K-12 special education teachers employed in four public-school districts in southeastern Minnesota. The questionnaire contains the Maslach Burnout Inventory for Educators (Maslach et al., 1986) in addition to questions regarding job satisfaction and other related factors in relation to future retention. Correlations were run and determined a significant correlation between burnout domains and attrition. Additional exploration was completed on related factors contributing to attrition and burnout domains (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment). Determining the impact of contributing factors gives educational leaders specific areas to address in order to decrease burnout and increase retention of special education teachers employed in their districts.



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