Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Special education teacher resiliency: What keeps teachers in the field?
by Vernold, Erica Lynn, Ed.D., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2008, 117; 3310973
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this research was to relate special educators' degrees of satisfaction with resiliency-building factors found in schools, to special education teacher retention. This study attempted to answer three research questions: (1) Does a relationship exist between special educators' degrees of satisfaction with resiliency-building factors in their schools and the number of years that they stay in their current teaching positions; (2) Do significant differences exist between various groups (school level, classroom type, primary disability taught, certification held) of special educators, in terms of their degrees of satisfaction with resiliency-building factors in their schools; and (3) Do significant differences exist among various groups (school level, classroom type, primary disability taught, certification held) of special educators in terms of the number of years that they remain in their current teaching positions?

Data was collected using one survey instrument, the National Association of Secondary Principals' Teacher Satisfaction Survey and a series of open ended questions. Participants in this study were thirty eight special education teachers in one North Carolina school district. This study analyzed data through a number of statistical tests to determine if in fact, a relationship existed between special educators' degrees of satisfaction with resiliency-building factors found in schools and special education teacher retention.

This study gathered data to suggest that despite finding that there was no significant relationship between special educators' satisfaction with resiliency-building factors and the number of years that they remain in their current teaching positions, a relationship may still be found between the special educators' satisfaction with resiliency-building factors and special education teacher retention. Study data indicate that the majority of special education teachers who planned on returning to their positions for the following year had high satisfaction levels with resiliency-building factors, whereas those teachers who were planning on leaving their positions had low satisfaction levels. This study also found that caring/support, opportunities for meaningful participation and high expectations in the work environment are all important factors for building special education teacher resiliency and promoting retention.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Malloy, William
Commitee: Tillman, Linda, Vernon-Feagans, Lynne
School: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Department: Educational Administration (Ed. D.)
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: DAI-A 69/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: School administration, Special education
Keywords: Resiliency, Special education, Teacher retention
Publication Number: 3310973
ISBN: 978-0-549-60317-7
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