Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University

Advisor

Brenner, Devon G.

Committee Member

Franz, Dana P.

Committee Member

Xu, Jianzhong

Committee Member

Walker, Ryan M.

Committee Member

Hopper, Peggy F.

Other Advisors or Committee Members

Blackbourn, Richard L.

Date of Degree

8-1-2019

Original embargo terms

Worldwide

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Major

Curriculum and Instruction

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

College

College of Education

Department

Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine teachers' perspectives of the key factors contributing to the retention of rural teachers who entered teaching through an alternate route certification program in Mississippi. It was specifically the goal of this study to understand how alternatively certified teachers perceive their own characteristics (e.g., teacher preparation, personal experiences), school conditions (e.g., students, administration), and compensation (e.g., salary, benefits) to be related to their decision to remain in the profession. In this study, 9 rural alternate route teachers were interviewed from 8 schools in Mississippi. The research questions were: (1) How do rural alternate route teachers who stay describe their decision to continue teaching in terms of teacher characteristics?; (2) How do rural alternate route teachers who stay describe their decision to continue teaching in terms of school conditions?; and (3) How do rural alternate route teachers who stay describe their decision to continue teaching in terms of compensation? Sher's (1983) rural retention 3 C's framework provides a model for understanding retention. Sher proposed that attracting and retaining teachers in rural schools is a function of 3 C's: teacher characteristics, school conditions, and compensation. The data revealed that for teacher characteristics teacher preparation that included practice teaching combined with coursework was important, and participants valued experience working/teaching children. Data also revealed school conditions factors as student were a source of satisfaction for teachers, most teachers had little induction and mentoring support, teachers lacked administration and collegial support, and teachers found networks of support outside the school setting. The data revealed that the relationship between compensation and retention is complex, and that compensation was less important than intangible benefits. Although the study failed to find a simple and direct cause of retention, these findings do provide further insight into teacher retention. The findings of the study suggest implications for teacher preparation, school districts, and policy.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/14531

Comments

Embargo on this dissertation for one year beginning August 2019

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