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ERIC Number: ED549296
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 235
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2672-6524-1
Attrition and Retention of Special Education Teachers in an Urban High School
Rhodes, Wendy
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Walden University
Attrition is a problem among special education teachers in an urban high school in a southern part of the United States. A high school special education department served as the local setting. The department was unique due to a high teacher attrition rate and high percentage of teachers with less than five years of teaching experience. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the factors that influenced early career special education teachers' decisions to stay and to leave the department. Herzberg's motivation-hygiene theory served as the conceptual framework for the qualitative case study. Three research questions focused on the reasons some special education teachers left their position, the factors influencing special education teachers to remain in their position, and the initiatives used to retain early career special education teachers. Qualitative case study research methods included interviewing two school leaders, two current special education teachers, and four former special education teachers and reviewing the school's documentary data related to retention initiatives. Analytic strategies included thematic and case narrative development of the factors affecting attrition and retention. Multiple factors influenced the decision to stay or leave the special education department, including excessive paperwork (which may be incentive to transfer out of the department to general education) and the presence of a mentoring program (a retention strategy). A major conclusion is that Herzberg's theory is valid for examining factors influencing special education teachers' career retention decision. Continuing with the retention initiative is recommended. Implications for positive social change include creating effective strategies that retain talented teachers. [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: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A