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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Will millennials stay? Examining teacher retention from a generational perspective
by Lovely, Suzette, Ed.D., California State University, Fullerton, 2012, 127; 3528263
Abstract (Summary)

The nation's teaching force is older than it has ever been. Meanwhile, the attrition rate among novice teachers has continued to climb. By some estimates, up to 30% of all new teachers leave the classroom within the first three years. Young teachers who experience positive working conditions and believe they make a difference for students are inclined to stay in the profession longer.

The purpose of this case study was to investigate how the generational perspectives of the youngest members of the teacher workforce might impact their long-term commitment to teaching. The study relied on four sources of data, including a focus group discussion, individual interviews, blogging, and field notes. Once data was collected, key statements were illuminated to identify common experiences among participants and determine if teaching was considered a good career fit.

Using a qualitative narrative, five major findings provided a connection between the generational perspectives of these Millennial participants and their long-term career goals. The findings included a) an expectation that support systems be available to help them become better teachers, (b) a high regard for the material benefits of teaching, (c) an eagerness to expand roles and responsibilities beyond the walls of their classroom, (d) a sense of stress and frustration brought on by parent-teacher relationships, and (e) the belief students are less motivated today than they were in the past.

The discoveries from this case study led to four recommendations to assist school leaders in their retention efforts. These recommendations included (a) refining beginning-teacher induction programs, (b) encouraging novices to become teacher leaders, (c) giving young teachers more autonomy over their work, and (d) providing strategies to help new teachers reach out to parents.

We do not need a study to tell us that teachers in their twenties think differently than do teachers in their fifties. However, we do need to know which formative experiences the youngest generation of teachers will carry forward into the classroom. Overall, this study contributed to the existing theoretical literature through the key findings, implications for educational practice, and recommendations for future research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Adler, Louise
School: California State University, Fullerton
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 73/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Education Policy, Educational administration
Keywords: Career pathways, Generations, Job satisfaction, Millennial teachers, Millennials, Teacher job satisfaction, Teacher retention
Publication Number: 3528263
ISBN: 978-1-267-58658-2
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