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ERIC Number: ED528514
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 154
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-7024-3
Voices of Experience: Understanding the Retention of Veteran Secondary Mathematics Teachers
Whitmore, Diane Marie
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Arizona State University
Approximately 50% of teachers leave the profession within five years. A disproportionate number of those who leave are secondary mathematics teachers. Teacher retirements, policy changes, teacher turnover, and teacher requirements contribute to the mass departure from the teaching profession. This phenomenological qualitative study examined in-depth nine veteran secondary mathematics teachers who were employed by the same school district in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area. The purpose of the study was to gain an understanding of the social contexts and environmental work factors that affected the retention of this important group so that school districts can more effectively retain their highly qualified, veteran secondary mathematics teachers. A two-series interview technique was developed and data was gathered over a four month period, December 2008 to March 2009. The interview series consisted of three sections: (1) participants' reconstructions of their experiences prior to entering the teaching profession; (2) participants' reconstructions of their experiences during their years of practice; and (3) participants' reflections on their experiences and their professional projections into the future. The study was conceptually framed and analyzed through a socio-cultural lens. Six salient themes emerged from the interview data. The veteran mathematics teachers: (1) reported a strong commitment to mathematics, learning, and the teaching profession, (2) described positive experiences with informal mentors and advisors and the absence of robust, formal induction and mentoring programs; (3) developed strong socioprofessional relationships with students and colleagues including opportunities for collaboration in high functioning, informally developed communities of practice; (5) had teacher leadership opportunities while remaining classroom teachers; and (6) developed systematic and highly structured approaches to their job. The participants consistently reported that their love of mathematics, and the robust, socio-professional and collaborative relationships that sustained them, contributed to their learning, and contributed to their retention. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arizona