Date of Award

Fall 10-3-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

William Boozang, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Jill Williams, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Michael Butcher, Ed.D.


Teaching and leadership assignments abroad have become highly sought after largely due to globalization and the opportunities for educators to explore the world, gaining cultural sensitivity and awareness while utilizing his or her educational qualifications. The rationale of this qualitative phenomenological study was to understand the complexity surrounding the experiences of international school teachers and administrators and their decisions concerning longevity with international schools. Twelve veteran international educators participated in this study sharing their lived experiences in working in international schools outside of their home countries. The study was designed to answer four research questions: (a) What lived experiences do international educators identify as contributing to a decision to remain or leave a position in an international school?, (b) According to the lived perceptions of international educators, how do international school administrators build and promote a positive school climate and how is this impacted by frequent teacher turnover?, (c) How do international school educators describe measures taken to ensure school improvement initiatives are continued with fidelity, while balancing the need to train new teachers on a much more frequent basis?, and (d) Based on the lived experiences of international educators, how can international school leaders attract and retain qualified instructors who seek longevity in their role? Six emergent and recurring themes were distinguished: the importance of geographical location to the individual educator, tangible salary and benefits packages, school environment or climate, effective leadership, autonomy and trust, and professional/personal growth.

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