There and Back Again: Exploring Teacher Attrition and Mobility with Two Transitioning Science Teachers

Aug. 01, 2011

Source: Journal of Science Teacher Education, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 393-415. (August 2011).

The current study chronicled the professional journeys of two beginning science teachers.

The study documents what brought them to science teaching and investigated their resulting career paths.

Data artifacts for this instrumental case study approach included: interviews, written survey responses, personal communications and member checks.

The findings indicated that their decisions to enter and leave teaching were a complex mélange of issues that included career disposition, notions of isolation, overarching culture of the school, and future possibilities.
However, most striking was their re-entry into teaching on a temporary basis after considerable time away from the classroom, which suggests that teachers develop a sense of agency regarding their career decisions.

Implications for science teacher education indicate that some teachers may enter the profession considering teaching to be a transition into a different career path.
Secondary science teachers may perceive multiple career options (beyond the classroom) based on their preparation and teaching experience.

Updated: Oct. 24, 2012