Burnout and self‐efficacy: A study on teachers' beliefs when implementing an innovative educational system in the Netherlands

W. Evers, A. Brouwers, W. Tomic*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Background: In the Netherlands, secondary education has seen radical changes that originated with the national authorities, including the Study‐home system, a pupil‐centred approach in which teachers help develop pupils' independent working and creative thinking in order to get them to take responsibility for their own academic achievements. As educational innovations are more often than not accompanied by stress, the present study focuses on the onset of burnout among teachers who recently implemented this innovative system in the Netherlands.
    Aims: To test hypotheses that the extent to which teachers have a negative attitude towards the new instructional practices relates positively to their level of burnout, and that their self‐efficacy beliefs regarding implementation of the practices and coping with stress involved in this relate negatively to their burnout levels. Sample: A random sample of 490 teachers employed in the Study‐home system participated in this study.
    Methods: Three questionnaires were used. The Dutch version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory for teachers (Schaufeli & Van Horn, 1995) was used to assess the teachers' burnout level. Second, a specially developed self‐efficacy questionnaire relating to the domains of: (1) guiding groups of students using the principle of differentiation, (2) involving pupils with tasks and (3) use of innovative educational practices. Last, a questionnaire on the teachers' attitudes concerning the usefulness and effectiveness of the Study‐home as an educational innovation.
    Results: Regression analyses showed that the self‐efficacy beliefs for each of the three domains were significantly and negatively related to the depersonalisation and emotional exhaustion dimensions of burnout, and significantly positively related to the personal accomplishment dimension. Furthermore, the more negative the teachers' attitudes towards the Study‐home appeared to be, the more they appeared to suffer from depersonalisation and emotional exhaustion, and the lower they scored on the personal accomplishment dimension of burnout.
    Conclusions: The study's results indicate that teachers' self‐efficacy beliefs are related to their burnout level. Teachers with strong self‐efficacy beliefs seem to be more prepared to experiment with, and later also to implement new educational practices.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)227-243
    Number of pages17
    JournalBritish Journal of Educational Psychology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2002


    • burnout; self-efficacy; educational innovation; secondary school teachers


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