Current Psychology

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 347–353 | Cite as

L2 Teachers’ Traditional versus Constructivist Teaching/Learning Conceptions and Teacher Burnout

  • Reza ZabihiEmail author
  • Mina Khodabakhsh


The purpose of this research was twofold: (a) to find out the dominant type of teaching/learning conceptions among second language (L2) teachers, that is, whether they generally tend to hold traditional or constructivist views; (b) to see if there is any relationship between L2 teachers’ traditional versus constructivist teaching/learning conceptions and their burnout level. Seventy-four L2 teachers were asked to fill out two instruments: the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and the Teaching and Learning Conceptions Questionnaire (TLCQ). Overall, the results from a T-test showed that teachers were more inclined towards constructivist conceptions of teaching and learning. Moreover, results from correlation analyses revealed that there is a significant negative correlation between teachers’ total burnout level alongside two of its subscales (Emotional Exhaustion and Depersonalization) and their constructivist conceptions of learning and teaching. On the contrary, our findings revealed a significant positive correlation between teachers’ total burnout level alongside two of its subscales (Emotional Exhaustion and Personal Accomplishment) and their traditional conceptions of learning and teaching. Furthermore, the results from regression analysis consisting of TLCQ factors showed that teachers’ constructivist conceptions could successfully predict lower levels of teacher burnout. The practical implications of the study were discussed.


Teacher burnout Traditional conceptions Constructivist conceptions L2 teachers 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human Studies

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Human Participants

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


  1. Bakker, A. B., Demerouti, E., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2002). Validation of the Maslach Burnout inventory – general survey: an internet study. Anxiety, Stress, and Coping: An International Journal, 15, 245–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Basturkmen, H., Loewen, S., & Ellis, R. (2004). Teachers’ stated beliefs about incidental focus on form and their classroom practices. Applied Linguistics, 25(2), 243–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Borg, S. (2003). Teacher cognition in language teaching: a review of research on what language teachers think, know, believe, and do. Language Teaching, 36, 81–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Breen, M. P., Hird, B., Milton, M., Thwaite, A., & Oliver, R. (2001). Making sense of language teaching: Teachers’ principles and classroom practices. Applied Linguistics, 22(4), 470–501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brouwers, A., & Tomic, W. (2000). A longitudinal study of teacher burnout and perceived self-efficacy in classroom management. Teaching and Teacher Education, 16, 239–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brown, J. S., Collins, A., & Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational Researcher, 18(1), 32–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chan, K. W., & Elliott, R. G. (2004). Relational analysis of personal epistemology and conceptions about teaching and learning. Teaching and Teacher Education, 20, 817–831.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chan, K. W., Tan, J., & Khoo, A. (2007). Pre-service teachers’ conceptions about teaching and learning: a closer look at Singapore cultural context. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 35(2), 181–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cummings, C. (2000). Winning strategies for classroom management. Alexandria: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.Google Scholar
  10. Dewey, J. (1897). My pedagogic creed. The School Journal, 54(3), 77–80.Google Scholar
  11. Dorman, J. P. (2003). Relationship between school and classroom environment and teacher burnout: A LISREL analysis. Social Psychology of Education, 6, 107–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Driscoll, M. P. (1994). Psychology of learning for instruction. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  13. Duffy, T. M., & Jonassen, D. (Eds.). (1992). Constructivism and the technology of instruction: A conversation. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  14. Eren, A. (2009). Examining the teacher efficacy and achievement goals as predictors of Turkish student teachers’ conceptions about teaching and learning. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 34(1), 69–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Evers, W. J. G., Brouwers, A., & Tomic, W. (2002). Burnout and self-efficacy: A study on teachers’ beliefs when implementing an innovative educational system in the Netherlands. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 72, 227–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fernet, C., Guay, F., Senecal, C., & Austin, S. (2012). Predicting intraindividual changes in teacher burnout: The role of perceived school environment and motivational factors. Teacher and Teacher Education, 28, 514–525.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Freudenberger, H. J. (1974). Staff burnout. Journal of Social Issues, 30, 159–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gatto, J. T. (1999). Universal education. Journal of Positive Futures, 1–10. Retrieved from Accessed 10 Oct 2016.
  19. Ghonsooly, B., & Raeesi, A. (2012). Exploring the relationship between creativity and burnout among Iranian EFL teachers. International Journal of Linguistics, 4(3), 121–134.Google Scholar
  20. Goddard, R., O’Brien, P., & Goddard, M. (2006). Work environment predictors of beginning teacher burnout. British Educational Research Journal, 32(6), 857–874.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hlynka, D. (1991). Postmodern excursions into educational technology. Educational Technology, 31, 27–30.Google Scholar
  22. Jennett, H. K., Harris, S. L., & Mesibov, G. B. (2003). Commitment to philosophy, teacher efficacy, and burnout among teachers of children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 33, 583–593.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lavian, R. H. (2012). The impact of organizational climate on burnout among homeroom teachers and special education teachers (full classes/individual pupils) in mainstream schools. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 18(2), 233–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mäkikangas, A., Hyvönen, K., Leskinen, E., Kinnunen, U., & Feldt, T. (2011). A person-centered approach to investigating the development trajectories of job-related affective well-being: A 10-year follow-up. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 84, 327–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Maslach, C., & Jackson, S. E. (1981). Maslach burnout inventory research edition manual. Palo Alto: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
  26. Maslach, C., & Leiter, M. P. (1997). The truth about burnout: How organizations cause personal stress and what to do about it. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  27. Maslach, C., Schaufeli, W. B., & Leiter, M. P. (2001). Job burnout. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 397–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. McCauley, V., & McClelland, G. (2004). Studies in self-directed learning in physics at the University of Limerick, Ireland. International Journal of Self-Directed Learning, 1(2), 26–35.Google Scholar
  29. Nunnally, J. C. (1978). Psychometric theory (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  30. Oro, L. B., & Ursua, M. P. (2005). Teacher irrational beliefs and their relation with educational uneasiness. Clinica-y-Salud, 16(1), 45–64.Google Scholar
  31. Piaget, J. (1977). In H. E. Gruber & J. J. Vonèche (Eds.), The essential Piaget. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  32. Pines, A. M. (2002). Teacher burnout: a psychodynamic existential perspective. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 8(2), 121–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pishghadam, R., & Sahebjam, S. (2012). Personality and emotional intelligence in teacher burnout. The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 15(1), 227–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Pishghadam, R., Zabihi, R., & Shayesteh, S. (2013). The perception-practicum interface revisited: Life-wise language teaching perceptions and teacher burnout. Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 23, 287–297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Pressley, M., Harris, K. R., & Marks, M. B. (1992). But good strategy instructors are constructivists! Educational Psychology Review, 4, 3–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Schaufeli, W. B. (2003). Past performance and future perspectives of burnout research. South African Journal of Industrial Psychology, 29, 1–15.Google Scholar
  37. Schaufeli, W. B., & Salanova, M. (2007). Efficacy or inefficacy, that’s the question: burnout and work engagement, and their relationships with efficacy beliefs. Anxiety, Stress, & Coping: An International Journal, 20, 177–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Skaalvik, E. M., & Skaalvik, S. (2010). Teacher self-efficacy and teacher burnout: A study of relations. Teaching and Teaching Education, 26, 1059–1069.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Taris, T. W., Schaufeli, W. B., & Verhoeven, L. C. (2005). Internal and external validation of the Dutch work addiction risk test: Implications for jobs and non-work conflict. Journal of Applied Psychology: An International Review, 54, 37–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Tavakoli, M., Zabihi, R., & Ghadiri, M. (2015). Adopting a mixed methods approach to assessing foreign language teachers’ teaching/learning conceptions and their language teaching biases. Current Psychology, 34, 791–802.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Wittrock, W. C. (1985). The generative learning model and its implications for science education. Studies in Science Education, 12, 59–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Woods, D. (1996). Teacher cognition in language teaching: Beliefs, decision-making, and classroom practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.English DepartmentUniversity of NeyshaburNeyshaburIran
  2. 2.Department of English, Khorasan e Razavi Science and Research BranchIslamic Azad UniversityNeyshaburIran

Personalised recommendations