A Study of Teacher Attrition in Rural, North Central, Alabama

Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

David Kluth, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Brian Creasman, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Denette Foy, Ed.D.


Why do some teachers choose to leave the profession within the first five years of service? Focusing on one group of 25 former teachers and a second group of 25 current teachers in the rural, North Central, Alabama, area, the researcher studied how the nationally known reasons for teacher attrition found in the literature review applied to this population. The study was based on a quantitative method, using a causal-comparative design, and the survey design data collection method. The researcher’s conceptual framework utilized the theories of social practice, transformational leadership, and self-efficacy. The study found teachers left because of student discipline problems, dissatisfaction with administrators and school resources. Teachers also left for jobs closer to home or to care for families. Some of the teachers left to make a career change. The study also found teacher education programs needed to improve by providing candidates with training on how to work with students of diverse backgrounds, how to manage poor student behaviors and how to communicate effectively with parents. The study found teachers needed the administration’s help with collaboration, mentoring, discipline, school safety, and compensation.

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