Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
In rural and remote schools in Western Canada, researchers have discovered that high teacher turnover affects school climate as well as student achievement. The purpose of this project study was to explore novice teachers' and administrators' perceptions about the influence of school-related and classroom activities on decisions to stay or leave permanent teaching positions at a large remote school in Precambrian Shield School Division. Boylan's theory of teacher retention was the conceptual framework for the study. The guiding research questions were focused on teachers' and administrators' perceptions of various aspects of school and classroom activities in remote schools that might influence decisions to stay or leave. A bounded case study design using purposeful sampling was adopted and 11 novice teachers in their first 2 years of teaching experience in a remote school and 1 administrator agreed to participate in the study. The sample included 4 elementary and 4 middle/high school teachers along with 3 teachers with diverse teaching assignments and 1 experienced administrator. Data collection included qualitative questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, and document reviews that were coded and analyzed for common themes. Key findings suggested that classroom climate, professional support structures, and student achievement were perceived to be of negative influence on retention decisions, especially inconsistent professional support structures. These findings were used to create a professional development plan to support and provide mentoring for novice teachers in remote schools. This support plan, particularly the mentoring framework, will likely reduce turnover at this school and will provide a model for helping other districts with similar high turnover in remote schools.