All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Lois Christensen

Advisory Committee Members

Grace Jepkemboi

Jenna Lachenaye

Tondra Loder-Jackson

Nadia Richardson

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education


The purpose of this study was to describe the experiences of early childhood teachers in Central Alabama who have reportedly been bullied in school settings by their administrators. The study was guided by two central research questions: (1) What is the lived experience of early childhood teachers who have been bullied in the workplace by their school administrators? (2) In what ways do early childhood teachers describe the connections between workplace bullying and its perceived effects on teaching and learning? The theoretical foundation used to conduct this study was Bronfenbrenner’s ecological system’s theory. Five early childhood teachers participated in this study. Data was collected from participants through an open-ended, face-to-face, one-hour interview with the researcher. Data analysis followed the phenomenological analysis procedures outlined by Moustakas (1994). The five themes identified were: (a) Unwarranted Mistreatment, (b) The Experience of Multiple Forms of Bullying, (c) Deteriorating Health, (d) The Inescapable Job, and (e) Workplace Bullying Connections to Teaching and Learning. Implications from this study encouraged education professionals to seek training and professional development regarding laws and organizational policies pertaining to incivility in the workplace. In addition, this study provides valuable information to teaching professionals, school district leaders, and human resource professionals. The findings of this study can assist school leaders in recognizing and understanding the phenomenon of workplace bullying, how it affects teaching and learning, and ways to mitigate the problem of workplace bullying for educators in the workplace.

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