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ERIC Number: ED532201
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 254
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-1190-1
Catching Them before They Leave: An Examination of the Perspectives of Mid-Career, Female, English Teachers in Two Urban High Schools
DiVito, Monica
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Santa Barbara
This study examines the reasons that influence six secondary English teachers' decisions to remain in the teaching profession. A concern of parents, administrators, and policymakers is that secondary English teachers, often early in their careers, leave the profession at alarming rates, especially in California. This problem exacts a high monetary cost for many states. However, students are the ones truly paying the price as their classrooms are staffed by more inexperienced instructors each day. This qualitative case study examines the experiences of six "mid-career" (5-12 years of experience) female secondary English teachers at two high schools in medium-sized cities on the central coast of California, and explores why these teachers have stayed in the profession. These two high schools, which were considered urban by the principals and researcher, faced challenges typical of institutions in urban settings (i.e., greater percentages of English Language Learners and students of low socio-economic status). All six teachers were identified as effective teachers by various criteria. Primarily through the use of interviews, this study explores the experiences of mid-career, female, English teachers in order to generate possible solutions to the secondary English teacher shortage problem. Findings reveal that teachers yearn for more meaningful collaboration and instruction in today's schools, more opportunities to advance in their professional careers, and more time to complete work during regular business hours. This study questions whether mid-career teachers are stagnant as some earlier theorists have claimed; evidence to the contrary is presented. In addition, findings reveal that these teachers experience role conflict between their roles at home and at work as well as between their roles within work. Teachers also discussed how their work environment (i.e., culture, community, and leadership) helped and/or hindered their careers. Educational leaders concerned about high attrition rates, and interested in preserving the expertise of mid-career teachers in their classrooms, would profit from this study. If policymakers can learn how to keep teachers in the profession, more students would likely benefit from their expertise and experience. [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: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California