Jane Lohmann


Sara Ewell

Date of Award


Date Accepted


Degree Grantor

Northeastern University

Degree Level


Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department or Academic Unit

College of Professional Studies, School of Education


education, burnout, coping, resiliency, stress, teachers, urban




In 1999, it was estimated that 50% of new teachers leave urban districts in less than five years. New urban teachers face a host of demands that can contribute towards stress and burnout. While some of the literature has focused upon teacher stress, to date none has focused upon new teachers who are enrolled in alternative licensure programs with regard to the impact on stress and coping. This doctoral research study used a qualitative methodological approach guided by phenomenology to explore the experiences of new urban teachers with five or less year's experience who were enrolled in an alternative licensure program at a University in Southern New England. The participants were in the process of completing their teaching certification from August 2010 - May 2011. Four middle school math teachers took part and each responded to an in-depth 90-minute semi-structured interview. The research questions were informed by literature on teacher stress and burnout, coping, resiliency, student relationships, teaching efficacy, and a Transactional Model of Stress and Coping. They included (1) What do new urban teachers identify as central factors influencing their capacity to manage stress in the context of their classroom? (2) How do new urban teachers describe conditions they view as stressful? and (3) How do new urban teachers in a licensure program perceive and describe what they do to manage stress? The study results confirmed previous research detailing the implications of stress and burnout. The teachers required supportive supervision and professional development to guide their growth and development. Unmitigated by experience and enough support, the teachers felt uncertain, worried, and overwhelmed. The results of this study suggested that new teachers need support that allows them to draw upon the process of reappraisal to reduce their stress levels and that systemic changes are warranted to improve conditions for new urban teachers. Implications for education are discussed for future research.

Document Type

Doctoral Thesis

Rights Information

copyright 2011

Rights Holder

Kristen Lee Costa

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