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ERIC Number: EJ979644
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct
Pages: 37
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0002-8312
A Longitudinal Study of Teaching Practice and Early Career Decisions: A Cautionary Tale
Cochran-Smith, Marilyn; McQuillan, Patrick; Mitchell, Kara; Terrell, Dianna Gahlsdorf; Barnatt, Joan; D'Souza, Lisa; Jong, Cindy; Shakman, Karen; Lam, Karen; Gleeson, Ann Marie
American Educational Research Journal, v49 n5 p844-880 Oct 2012
Although the turnover rate among beginning teachers has been a major concern for some time, most studies do not link teacher retention with teaching practice. In contrast, this study looks specifically at career decisions coupled with practice. Guided by a view of teaching as social and cultural practice, the study used multiple qualitative data sources, including extensive observations, interviews, and samples of teachers' and students' work. Based on within- and cross-case analysis of 15 cases at four distinct time points within a 5-year period, the authors identified multiple patterns of teaching practice linked to early career decisions, which reflect considerable variation in quality of teaching and career trajectory. The authors argue that "stayers" and "leavers" are not homogeneous groups, as is often assumed in research and policy. Rather, there are multiple variations of practice coupled with career decisions, some desirable and others not, with different implications for policy and practice. (Contains 4 notes, 3 tables and 1 figure.)
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A