Teachers experience significant amounts of stress that can lead to burnout or attrition (Milhans, 2008). Creating time and space to engage in self-reflection helps teachers to reduce stress (Chang, 2009; Nollett, 2009). Courage to Teach was developed in 1994 by Parker Palmer and the Fetzer Institute in response to an identified need for developing the inner lives of teachers (Center for Courage and Renewal, 2008; Palmer, 1992) by encouraging self-reflection. This qualitative multiple case study focuses on the perceived effects of self-reflective practices learned at Courage to Teach retreats on levels of stress, classroom practices, and student engagement. Interview data and journal entries collected from nine female teachers participating in at least one of two Northern California retreat series from 2008 to 2011 indicates that engaging in the following self-reflective practices reduces stress levels: joumaling, deep listening and using silence, poetry, art, walking, and Clearness Committees. Additional data sources included Maslach Burnout Inventories—Educators Survey and documents obtained from the Center for Courage and Renewal. Teachers indicated that after participating in the retreats, they were more patient in the classroom and experienced a willingness and desire to present more engaging lessons. Suggestions for additional research include examination of Courage to Teach retreat cohorts in other locations, collecting data from male retreat participants, conducting a longitudinal study collecting data a priori, posteriori, and throughout the retreats, and focusing on a population using Palmer's ( 1994) Courage to Teach in a book group.
|Commitee:||Hodges, Caryl, Probst, David|
|School:||University of Phoenix|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Burnout, Self-reflection, Teacher stress|
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