How Perceived School Context Shapes Teachers' Beliefs, Motivation, and Turnover Intentions
AuthorVriesema, Christine Calderon
KeywordsAchievement Goal Theory
School Goal Structure
Teachers' Coping Strategies
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation examined different facets of teacher turnover in Southern Arizona by using literature from education, educational psychology, and industrial and organizational psychology. The purpose of synthesizing across research domains was to obtain a more nuanced understanding of the phenomenon. Motivation for the study reflected the teacher shortages faced on a national (Sutcher, Darling-Hammond, & Carver-Thomas, 2016) and regional level (Educator Retention and Recruitment Task Force, 2015). In order to identify potential strategies for increasing teacher retention, the dissertation project pursued three studies on this topic. Study 1 utilized data from the Schools and Staffing Survey project. Participants were matched across the 2011-2012 Teacher Questionnaire and 2012-2013 Teacher Follow-Up Survey (TFS) in order to determine whether teachers' beliefs at Time 1 varied by their occupational status at Time 2 (i.e., stayer, leaver, or mover). The study also asked whether teachers' beliefs and attitudes predicted the odds of being a stayer, mover, or leaver at Time 2. Exploratory factor analyses, analyses of variance, and logistic regressions were utilized. Results indicated that there were no differences between teacher groups; and, none of the variables predicted TFS status. Study 2 specifically examined whether teachers differentiated between organizational (school) and occupational (profession) beliefs, particularly in regards to turnover intentions. The study also examined whether specific variables differentially predicted organizational and occupational turnover intentions. The purpose was to identify specific areas that increased both types of retention. Analyses relied on confirmatory factor analyses, analyses of variance, and structural equation modeling. Results indicated that teachers’ beliefs were empirically distinct and that each type of turnover consisted of unique predictors. Study 3 emphasized perceived school goal structure, or school-level goals for teachers, teacher learning, and performance. Mastery school goal structure generally reflected goals for teacher development whereas performance goal structure reflected testing and high performance goals. Both school goal structures were examined in relation to teachers’ occupational turnover intentions, emotion, and coping. Exploratory factor analyses, correlation analyses, and hierarchical linear regression analyses were used in the study. Results indicated that there were two performance school goal structures rather than one anticipated structure: one that emphasized testing and another that emphasized social comparison for teachers. Perceived mastery school goal structure related to lower intentions to leave the profession and more productive coping. Perceived performance-testing school goal structure generally related to more negative affect and ineffective coping; neither performance goal structure related to turnover intentions. Overall, the three studies inform the literature regarding teacher beliefs, motivation, and turnover intentions. The dissertation increases our understanding of teachers' school- and work-related beliefs, and it informs what we know about teachers' turnover intentions. Furthermore, the findings encourage future research on teachers' beliefs and actual turnover, particularly within the current educational context.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
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