Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
High teacher turnover has become a serious problem globally, in many international schools, and is a growing concern in segments of the East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS). This persistent problem has a detrimental effect on student learning and upsets the culture of school communities. Herzberg's motivation-hygiene theory served as the framework for this qualitative case study research that examined the perceptions of EARCOS international overseas-hire teachers, to determine their beliefs regarding high teacher turnover in international schools. These questions gave direction to this study: What factors do international teachers in EARCOS member schools believe contribute to high teacher turnover in international schools? What do international teachers in EARCOS member schools believe is the result of high teacher turnover in international schools? What steps do international teachers in EARCOS member schools believe should be taken to reduce high turnover in international schools? Purposeful homogenous sampling was used to identify 8 focus group interview participants from the entire pre-K-12 international overseas-hire teacher population from the 149 EARCOS member schools. Coded data were examined, analyzed, and categorized into themes related to Herzberg's motivation-hygiene theory. Member checking, peer debriefing, and external auditing were used to add validity to the research study. The analysis of the data and findings revealed that lack of effective mentorship, lack of administrative leadership support, and ineffective systems are the major contributors to international teacher turnover in international schools. A white paper was developed and constructed from the themes that emerged from this study and presented to EARCOS member school administrators, to potentially use to address the issue of increasing international overseas-hire teacher turnover rates in international schools. This acquired knowledge could lead to positive social change that can influence the practices, structural procedures, and policies of EARCOS and other international school systems related to teacher turnover.