Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

11-2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

College

College of Education

Department

Education

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Barbara Weschke, Ph.D.

Content Specialist

Catherine Beck, Ed.D.

Content Reader

Amanda Sailors, Ph.D.

Keywords

Teacher Retention, Experienced Teachers, Urban Turnaround Schools, Relational Cultural Theory (RCT), Urban Education, Lived Experiences

Abstract

This phenomenological study explored teachers’ lived experiences in relation to teacher retention in urban turnaround schools and how the essential elements of the relational cultural theory may contribute to experienced teachers’ decisions to remain in the workplace. The study sought to uncover the phenomenon of teacher retention regarding the workplace, specifically in an urban turnaround school environment, and sought to understand teachers’ lived experiences and why they have remained in the urban turnaround environment. All participants had at least 4 years of experience and had taught in urban turnaround schools located in a city in the Midwest. A phenomenological approach made it possible to understand multiple lived experiences, commonalities within these experiences, common factors among teachers’ lived experiences, and gain an in-depth understanding of teacher retention. The findings uncovered the following themes: challenges in urban turnaround schools, overcoming challenges, teacher involvement, flexibility, self-care, students, support inside and outside of the workplace, and teachers’ passion for entering into teaching. Also, the educational themes of the relational cultural theory consisted of the essential elements of commitment, positive collaboration, relationship development, leadership, culture, and climate. The results and findings of this study confirmed that the essential elements of the relational cultural theory commitment, positive collaboration, relationship development, leadership, culture, and climate contributed to teacher retention through describing the importance of these elements and, the significance they have on teacher retention. The study revealed the benefits of the essential elements.

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