Burnout in special needs educators in Pietermaritzburg : associations with intentions to leave.
The concept of burnout emerged from pragmatic, social concerns and the conceptualisation of this construct developed in parallel to the development of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI). While research has focused on burnout in educators locally and internationally, there is a paucity of research on burnout in special needs educators in the South African context. Furthermore, attrition in the teaching profession is highlighted as a major problem locally and internationally. Through the use of a quantitative descriptive research design, this study made use of the 16-item Maslach Burnout Inventory – General Survey (MBI-GS) and the 15-item Turnover Intentions Scale (TIS) to examine the correlational relationship between burnout and turnover intention. Multiple regression analysis was used to examine factors influencing burnout and turnover intention. Special needs educators experienced a moderate level of burnout and turnover intention. A strong correlation was found between the burnout dimension, cynicism, and turnover intention, with a moderate correlation present between emotional exhaustion and turnover intention. The number of learners in a class as well as the number of years spent teaching and management responsibilities predicted emotional exhaustion and a low sense of personal efficacy involved in burnout. Further research is recommended to explore this phenomenon in a South African inclusive education context.