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ERIC Number: ED555330
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 166
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3033-9176-7
The Retention of Teachers in Rural Idaho: An Action Research Study in the Longevity of Central Elementary Teachers
Orr, Cynthia K.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Idaho
If a school is able to retain its teachers, the school has the potential to function as a team and create a positive learning environment. Brown and Schainker (2008) indicate, "Most teacher turnover, whether through attrition or migration, is costly and has negative effects at the school level" (p. 13). If a school has high turnover, the district loses both financially and personally. Financially, the district must pay to recruit, hire, and train the new staff member. Personally, the staff, students, and parents have to spend time and energy learning to trust the new adult in the classroom. It is important for a school to retain teachers in order to maintain trust, consistency, and a positive learning environment. The teachers of Central Elementary School are all teachers who have lived in its community most of their lives. They have common backgrounds and experiences. Most attended the same university. The purpose of this action research study was to determine why the elementary teachers of Central Elementary School have remained in their position for most of their career. This study was conducted as five hour-long focus group sessions. During the first focus group session, the participants brainstormed the reasons why they have remained at Central Elementary School. Once a list was created, the group determined four different themes that explain why they have chosen to remain a member of this school. It was determined that the teachers have common goals and core beliefs. The teachers have created a family-like atmosphere that supports lifelong learning and embraces the small school and small town community. Guin (2004) found, "In schools, a positive sense of community, belongingness, and strong communication among teachers are indicators of effective schools" (p. 3). These elements are also important in retaining teachers. While these elements were determined in a small school district, portions of the findings could be applicable to schools of all sizes. It is important to determine what the core beliefs of the teachers are, write down those beliefs, and work towards supporting the core beliefs at all levels of the school. [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 Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Idaho