An analysis of career choices among teachers of high academic ability/ Anne N. Catena.

Catena, Anne N.
x, 295 p. : ill. ; 29 cm.
Local subjects:
Penn dissertations -- Education.
Education -- Penn dissertations.
This practitioner research focuses on career choices of undergraduates prepared to be certified teachers between 1970 and 2008 within programs at Barnard College, Bryn Mawr/Haverford Colleges, Princeton University, Swarthmore College, and Vassar College. The exploratory study serves as a basis of comparison between the national population of teachers and teachers of high academic ability certified within small preparation programs in liberal arts schools.
The results summarize the employment that graduates pursue, how long they teach, and the influences impacting career choices. Mixed method design includes quantitative analysis of 924 surveyed alumni and qualitative analysis of interviews with faculty and alumni of each teacher preparation program.
Approximately 80% of the certified teachers choose to teach, which is similar to the percentage of the top quartile of the national teaching population in 2003 that chose to teach. The majority of certified teachers chooses as their first teaching position a traditional public school, a suburban location, and middle to affluent student populations.
There is no statistically significant difference among teachers' duration in the classroom by gender or grade level. The mean number of years teaching among all teachers of the 1970s is 11.4, 1980s is 10.5, 1990s is 6.4, and 2000s is 3.2. Approximately 60% of 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s certified teachers have taught for five or more years, findings that are similar to the national teaching population.
CETE certified and non-certified teachers who leave the occupation within the first five years do so at a rate similar to the national population of certified and non-certified teachers. Those who leave the classroom pursue employment in fields inside and outside of education. Alumni are more interested in leadership at the school level than at the district level.
The meaningfulness of one's work and opportunities for growth are the most important influence in alumnae's career choices. Alumni who want to affect change at a systemic level leave the classroom. Cultural factors specific to collaborative work environments and organizational factors regarding authority, autonomy, and interaction with fellow workers are secondary influences. Political, societal, economic, and facilities related workplace variables bear little influence on career choices.
Adviser: Richard M. Ingersoll.
Thesis (Ed.D. in Education) -- University of Pennsylvania, 2009.
Includes bibliographical references.
Local notes:
University Microfilms order no.: 3354361
Ingersoll, Richard M., advisor.
University of Pennsylvania.
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