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ERIC Number: ED559764
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 188
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3033-3318-7
Urban Charter School Teachers: Unpacking Perceptions and Resilience
Kane, Shannon M.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
Retaining effective teachers in today's classrooms, especially those in urban schools, remains a priority for school leaders. While the charter school movement is intended to address many challenges faced by traditional urban public schools, research has indicated that retaining effective teachers may be even more challenging for charter schools. To better support the teaching and learning within urban charter schools, including the achievement of the students, it is necessary to better understand the decisions made by teachers who work in those schools. Grounded in phenomenology and using narratives, this research explores the individual experiences of seven teachers working in urban public charter schools and how those experiences influenced the resilience of these teachers to continue working in their classrooms. The teachers who participated were interviewed extensively about their own education to their decision to become a teacher to their experiences in the classroom. While differences such as years of teaching, education, and demographic information are present among the seven teachers, similar experiences related to their work in urban charter schools became apparent. This research was an exploration of the complex nature of teachers' experiences working in urban public charter schools and complicated the picture of how perceptions held by these teachers were either reinforced or challenged, especially those related to self, urban schools and the students and families in those schools. Based on the data, the themes that emerged about a teacher's decision to remain at a particular school, as well as perceptions related to working in an urban charter school, were: (a) the school environment created by school leaders, especially around professional development; (b) the influence of relationships with both colleagues and students; and (c) the importance of having multiple opportunities to productively struggle and reflect on issues related to difference and identity. Working to understand the decisions and resilience of teachers related to working in an urban school, including exploring any held perceptions, charter school leaders, policymakers, and practitioners in the field of teacher education may aid in learning how to better influence the decisions of teachers to remain at these urban charter schools, and therefore, increase rates of 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: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A