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ERIC Number: ED553924
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 125
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3031-2406-8
Why Should They Stay? A Social Network Analysis of Teacher Retention
Hodgson, Kevin W.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Southern California
Decades of research have established that there is a significant issue retaining teachers in America's schools. In fact, upwards of 50% of all teachers do not last more than five years (Ingersoll, 2001). Despite a tremendous amount of research, very little in the form of social network analysis has been utilized to study the problem. This study will advance the research by viewing this issue through social network analysis. A social network analysis survey relies on individual self-reported surveys being completed about his/her own connections and relationships to other people within a given organization. This study focuses on the connections and relationships among newer teachers (1-3 years of service) of two high schools. My hypothesis is that newer teachers who are more closely connected to formal and informal leaders among their campus are more likely to remain there. This hypothesis is not unique to my research. Some research concludes that teachers who have established good working relationships with colleagues are more likely to remain on a given campus. My research differs in that I am looking at the connections between the newer teachers and the leaders. Using social network analysis, I measured the overall networks. Measuring size, density, and degree provides basic information about the networks such as the number of teachers and administrators and the connections among them. These connections are displayed in sociograms format, where nodes depict the participants and lines among the nodes display the connections. Another measurement that was utilized is in-degree centrality, which refers to the person who has the most people seeking him/her. These people were identified as leaders. One critical point to this study is the understanding that these leaders identified would not necessarily be formal leaders, such as the principal, assistant principal, or a department coordinator, for example. Some of the leaders identified are teacher leaders, leaders that might not necessarily be apparent to all members of the staff. After identifying who these formal and informal leaders are on a given campus, I discovered how connected the newer teachers were to the group of leaders using ego-networks. This display enabled me to view all of the people within the organization that the newer teachers are connected to in addition to the connections of the people whom they are connected to. The newer teachers were broken down to two groups: stayers (still on their respective campus 4 years later.) and leavers (no longer on their respective campus after 4 years). Examining the social networks of the two groups of newer teachers allowed me to discover that, as my hypothesis states, the stayers had a significantly higher level of connections to leaders. [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; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A