Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Julie McCann, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Michael Hollis, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Corey McKenna, Ph.D.


Novice teacher attrition is an international K–12 problem. This dilemma is most prevalent in low-performing schools that are also classified as hard-to-staff. In this qualitative case study, data were collected through a confidential online survey, a one-on-one interview, and a conference call focus group. Five teachers who taught at low-performing Title I middle schools during their first three years teaching were selected to participate in the study. The inquiry was viewed through a conceptual framework that combined social constructivism, human capital theory, path-goal theory, and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In this study, the factors found to contribute most to novice teacher attrition were leadership, collegiality, and school culture. The results revealed that the intermingling of these factors made it possible to identify that each variable contributed to the problem but made it difficult to specify how each one impacted the others. The novice teachers’ decisions to leave their initial teaching assignment proved to be a product of the interconnected elements. The conclusions of the study have significant practical implications for school district leaders and school building leadership to provide support for their highly qualified novice teachers, deliberately foster collegiality and grow the school culture.

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Education Commons