Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. John W. Hill

Second Advisor

Dr. Karen L. Hayes

Third Advisor

Dr. Neal F. Grandgenett

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Kay A. Keiser


This study was accomplished to further the understanding of the phenomenon of cynicism in 3 conservative Christian secondary schools in the Midwest. The study consisted of interviews with 12 secondary school teachers from 3 schools in 3 different states and was designed to discover more about the definition, attributes, causes, and effects of cynicism in the context of Christian schools from the perspective of the teachers. Participants did not believe there was a large amount of cynicism in their schools. They identified negative affectivity, lack of trust, lack of self-efficacy, alienation, poor communication, and actions of leaders as contributors to cynicism in the schools. They stated cynicism was expressed through withdrawal, sarcasm, and body language. Participants stated that cynicism negatively affected both organizations and individuals. They believed that Christians should not be cynical, that it was a sign of spiritual immaturity, and that each individual was responsible for his or her own level of cynicism. Participants believed the responses to cynicism would vary according to circumstances, but a positive response was generally the best response. They believed cynicism was contagious and would grow in the school if left unchecked.


A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate College of the University of Nebraska in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education. Copyright 2009 Victor H. Fordyce

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