An analysis of factors that influence secondary science teachers in an urban school district in South Texas to remain in the teaching profession
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This quantitative study is an examination of personal and professional factors that contribute to science teachers continuing to teach science in an urban area in South Texas despite the growing demands of the profession. This study examines why teachers in general leave the profession but focuses on what factors influenced these teachers to stay. Personal retention factors measured included being an effective teacher and positive rapport with students. Professional retention factors included administrative support and adequate time to meet professional obligations. There are 149 secondary science teachers in this large urban school district. Data was gathered from 109 of these educators to analyze factors personal and professional factors in regards to why these teachers remain in the field. For the purposes of this study a secondary science teacher will be any teacher who teaches science in grades 6-12, which is considered middle (6 through 8) and high school (9 through 12) in this area. The data for this quantitative study was collected by a paper survey (N=109) that was distributed at a professional learning session at the beginning of the school year. A Principal Component Analysis was run followed by three multiple regression analyses of the pertinent components to determine if there is any relationship between the demographics of the participants and personal and professional factors that cause these teachers to remain in the field. The results of this study will contribute to the literature regarding teacher education and theory that examines teacher practice affecting change. The results showed that professional factors like the amount of resources and the quality of those resources to assist teachers with job efficacy mattered as much as the personal factors such as positive teaching experience and an intrinsic sense of being an effective educator. Further implications of this study include an exploration of Generalist certifications at the middle grades compared to content specific requirements at the high school level. Also an inquiry into whether or not the Bachelor's degree and teacher certification area matter to their level of self-efficacy and job satisfaction in the field of science they have been assigned to teach.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of DOCTOR of PHILOSOPHY in CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in Corpus Christi, Texas.