Thursday, June 4, 2009

GSU research focuses on improving teacher retention

Nearly 50 percent of teachers leave the profession within five years, according to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Georgia State University researchers and their public school partners have been investigating how to reduce this troubling trend.

Barbara Meyers, chair of the Department of Early Childhood Education and Assistant Professor Susan Swars, along with doctoral student Brian Lack and recent doctoral graduate Lydia Mays, spent more than two years studying teacher retention and mobility at a high needs school in the metro Atlanta area.

Using surveys, interviews and open-ended questionnaires, the research team collected 134 teachers’ perceptions of why teachers choose to remain at or leave their school. The researchers found the teachers stay in the classroom if they have positive relationships with other educators and administrators, a diverse student population and an environment that emphasizes academic student achievement.

But, educators may leave when they disagree about teaching philosophies and school policies, the researchers found. Teachers are also more likely to exit the profession if they fear they cannot express concerns or have a lack power.

Based on their findings, the research team developed a two-dimensional model that may help educators determine what school environments are best for them.

“Our model can help teachers be more informed job hunters,” Meyers said. “If they identify shared educational beliefs when they interview, they may be more likely to stay at that school.”
Further, the model could also be used to help administrators screen and hire educators that will work well in their schools and perhaps promote retention.

An analysis by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission indicates the cost to the state of Georgia to replace teachers lost to attrition was almost $400 million in 2005, an increase of nearly $60 million from 2001.

“When universities and schools engage in collaborative inquiries about critical issues facing the teaching profession, authentic, constructive, and pragmatic solutions may be found,” Associate Professor Swars said.

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1 comment:

Study said...

Teacher retention is really needed. You post here such a nice article. TExES study is also helps to improve teaching skills.