Source: Journal of Teacher Education, 61(4): 328-338. (September/October 2010).
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
This study examines English teachers’ risk for attrition. Specifically, the purpose of this study was to identify variables representing teacher characteristics, teaching conditions, self-efficacy, perceived support, and salary that most influence English teachers’ risk for attrition when all other known factors are taken into consideration.
Data from the 2003-2004 Schools and Staffing Survey, which is a comprehensive national survey of districts, schools, principals, teachers, and staff created by the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), were examined.
The authors used representative data for the population of 207,179 secondary public school English educators in the United States. Participants were employed at secondary schools and held at least a bachelor’s degree.
The findings reveal that 5 variables emerged as statically significant predictors of secondary English teachers’ likelihood of being classified as either a low or high attrition risk:
(1) Status as a Minority Teacher
Minority English teachers in our study were less likely to be considered a high attrition risk than nonminority English teachers.
(2) Teaching Experience
The predictor variable comprising years of full-time teaching experience was a statistically significant predictor of an English teacher’s likelihood of being classified as either a low or high attrition risk. In other words, an English teacher with 5 more years of teaching experience was less likely to be classified as a high attrition risk than an English teacher with 5 fewer years of experience.
(3) Teacher Apathy
In general, English teachers experiencing apathy were more likely to be considered a high attrition risk.
(4) Perceived Peer Support
English teachers who experienced more peer support were less likely to be a high attrition risk than those who received less peer support.
(5) Administrative Support
Administrative support was also a statistically significant predictor of the likelihood of being classified as a high attrition risk. Specifically, this finding suggests that the more support provided by administrators in these areas, the less likely English teachers were to be considered a high risk for attrition.