ERIC Number: ED389156
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-May-26
Reference Count: N/A
Attrition of Special Educators: Why They Leave and Where They Go. Working Paper.
Brownell, Mary T.; And Others
Telephone interviews concerning special education teacher attrition were conducted with 96 former special education teachers in Florida. Both qualitative and quantitative techniques were used to analyze the interview data. Participants had not returned to their special education teaching positions after the 1992-93 school year. The majority of these leavers indicated that they had taken positions that were education-related. Disgruntled teachers (n=49) made up the largest category of leavers. Nondisgruntled teachers (N=36) made up the second largest category with the remaining 11 being unclear. Disgruntled teachers rarely left because of one factor. Instead, the interaction of factors often resulted in a teacher's decision to leave. Frequently cited reasons included feeling overwhelmed, unsupported, unprepared, and/or disempowered. However, 23 of the disgruntled teachers said they would become a special education teacher again. Nondisgruntled leavers indicated that they enjoyed teaching special education and usually left because of external factors such as other job opportunities, certification requirements, family influences, retirement, position not reoffered, and inadequate pay. Overall, when leavers were asked what could be done to encourage them to return to special education teaching, the largest portion said that no incentives would encourage their return. Others mentioned that more administrative and instructional support would be necessary, or that increased salary and/or a reduced work load would encourage their return. When asked about their future career plans, 54 of the leavers indicated that they wished to remain in education but not in the special education classroom. An attached table details teacher responses. (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: National Dissemination Forum on Issues Relating to Special Education Teacher Satisfaction, Retention, and Attrition (Washington, DC, May 25-26, 1995); see EC 304 434.