In this dissertation, the problem of early childhood teacher turnover is approached from the perspective of professional identity. During three-part semi-structured interviews with twelve highly-educated infant-toddler teachers working in NAEYC-accredited centers in a mid-Atlantic metropolitan area, participants shared information about their career decisions and professional identities. The participant teachers, who were more highly-educated than a representative sample would be, generally "fell into" the career without having had any pre-service training specific to working with infants and toddlers. Teachers described their jobs in terms of boredom and / or frustration, and found more value in experiential learning than from formal professional development opportunities. Teachers in this study self-identified as professional "teachers" while perceiving themselves to be other-identified as unskilled "day care workers." Teachers in this study did not view teaching infants and toddlers as a long-term career option. The findings suggest that the public's perception of infant-toddler teachers as unskilled workers may encourage highly-educated teachers to leave the profession. I use these findings to make recommendations for pre-service educators, administrators, and policymakers.
|Advisor:||Wright, Travis S.|
|Commitee:||Martin, Doris M., Scully-Russ, Ellen|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|Department:||Educational Administration and Policy Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||School administration, Early childhood education, Teacher education|
|Keywords:||Career decisions, Early care and education, Early childhood administration, Early childhood education, Infant-toddler teacher, Professional identity|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.