Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Lynne Orr


Past researchers have argued that teacher attrition rates result from burnout, job dissatisfaction, and lack of support, but they have not explored the possibility of the media’s ability to influence the perception teachers have regarding their roles. The purpose of this study was to gain insight into whether the media influenced secondary teachers’ self-perceptions and attrition in a public high school in the Midwest. Social influence theory served as the theoretical framework. The research questions focused on how the media’s portrayal of educators in print and film influenced how teachers perceived themselves and teacher attrition. For this qualitative case study, 8 teachers volunteered for the interview phase, and 23 participants completed the anonymous survey, which led to identifying emergent themes related to the social influence on teachers’ self-perception of their role and possible links to attrition. Data analysis consisted of 7 preset labels and 6 emergent codes aligned with the research questions, later examined to gain insight into the problem, which revealed that professional and social environments influence the participants’ perceptions of their role and professional identity. The findings of this study led to the recommendation of a 3-day professional development course that may be used as the foundation of teacher preparation curriculum. The results of the research may impact social change by improving secondary teachers’ understanding of how the media’s social influence can alter perceptions they have of their roles.