Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The significance of supportive leadership for retaining beginning elementary teachers in urban schools
by Ortiz, Steve M., Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2014, 164; 3674337
Abstract (Summary)

Teacher turnover is a perennial problem in K-12 education, and is particularly salient for urban schools. An estimated 45% of teachers leave the teaching profession during their first five years of teaching. This quantitative study set out to examine the role of the school principal in buffering teacher turnover intentions directly and indirectly through the teachers' perception of influence and challenging student behavior. Specifically, the purpose of this study was to examine the direct and indirect effects of elementary school principals' supportive leadership on urban, elementary school beginning teachers' intent to leave.

A conceptual model was developed utilizing aspects of two main theories: the theory of planned behavior and the 2-factor theory of motivation. Ajzen's theory of planned behavior describes the processes that influence intent and Herzberg, Mausner, and Snyderman's 2-factor theory of motivation describes intrinsic and extrinsic factors that contribute to satisfaction or to dissatisfaction, respectively. These theories informed the placement of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors, which influence the outcome variable of beginning teacher intent to leave. Supportive leadership is grounded in Kouzes and Posner's transformational leadership dimension of encouraging the heart.

Restricted-use data were obtained from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The sample of interest in this study consists of 430 teachers in urban elementary schools across the United States, including 80 males and 350 females with up to 5 years of teaching experience. A confirmatory factor analysis was conducted on selected 2011-2012 Schools and Staffing Survey items and the results indicated they reflected valid and reliable latent factors. Structural equation modeling was used to test the direct and indirect effects among the latent factors, and the results revealed that supportive leadership had a negative and strong direct effect on urban elementary school beginning teachers' intent to leave. The results also revealed that perception of influence and challenging student behavior did not mediate the effects of supportive leadership on teachers' intent to leave.

The findings underscore the significance of school principals' supportive leadership for beginning teachers in urban elementary schools. Based on the results of this study, recommendations were made for school principal practices, development of separate leadership standards that focus attention on the support of beginning teachers, and future research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Slater, Charles L.
Commitee: Masunaga, Hiromi, Wallace, James
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 76/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Elementary education
Keywords: Motivation, Planned behavior, Principals, Supportive leadership, Teacher turnover, Urban schools
Publication Number: 3674337
ISBN: 978-1-321-27680-0
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