Candidate: A. Celeste Shelton-HarrisDegree of: Doctor of Education
Department: Teaching, Learning and Leadership
Title: A Descriptive Study: New Teacher Career Commitment and New Teacher Retention Strategies
Tuesday, May 18, 2004 10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.
Comprehensive national data, Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) 1999-2000, were analyzed primarily using chi-square tests. The SASS data also included the effect sizes, as well as mean scores and percentages to determine the practical significance of the statistical results. As a result of this study, several key findings were found for new teachers with three years or less classroom experience.
First, a significant number of beginners choose to remain in the teaching profession until retirement age and beyond. This illustrates that despite the obvious challenges facing America's public schools, there are more 'Committed' (62.3%) than 'Non Committed' (22.3%) new teachers.
Second, new teachers participate in a variety of formal and informal support activities. Excluding common planning time with teachers in the same subject area (38%), observational visits to other schools (29%), extra help with classroom aides/assistants (26%), and teacher networking opportunities with external agencies (21%), there were over 50% new teachers engaged in activities that represented formal, collegial, and administrative support. A visual examination showed that new teacher participation varied according to the activity. In addition, slight differences were also observed across gender, race/ethnicity, and instructional level.
Lastly, the findings revealed that some of the new teacher support participation activities effect career commitment and some do not. To further illustrate this finding, on of the activities that showed the least new teacher participation was with extra help from classroom aides, etc. (26%). However, participants who did receive this type of support reported the most commitment to teaching (68%). Although this study adds to existing new teacher retention research, it is recommended that further studies in this area continue.
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