Date of Award

Summer July 2015

Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Antonia Darder

Second Advisor

Karen K. Huchting

Third Advisor

Rebecca H. Stephenson


The following dissertation examined the relationship between dissatisfaction found within teacher working conditions and Melvin Seeman's theory of alienation. More specifically, it showed that all forms of teacher dissatisfaction engender feelings of alienation and that the oppressive nature of alienation is the root cause of all the negative consequences associated with teacher dissatisfaction. After an introduction, the literature review presents detailed descriptions of Seeman's theory of alienation, Paulo Freire's theory of empowerment, and the latest information surrounding the issue of teacher dissatisfaction. Next, qualitative narratives from interviews with six teachers about their experiences with dissatisfaction are presented. The researcher then shows how the participants' answers matched the information from the literature surrounding dissatisfaction. The alienation framework is then applied to the data to show its presence within the teachers' experiences. Once the narratives are shown to be connected to both the dissatisfaction and alienation literature, the researcher discusses how alienation is an inextricable part of dissatisfying working conditions. An analysis is then presented to explain how alienation plays a foundational role in creating detrimental educational environments. Finally, possible solutions and further research possibilities are detailed.