Currently Employed Teachers' Perceptions of the Reasons Teachers Leave the Profession or Stay: A Q Methodology Study

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Educational Administration

Date of Award

Summer 2021


According to Haynes (2014), roughly half a million United States (U.S.) teachers either move or leave the profession each year—attrition that costs the U.S. up to $2.2 billion annually. The data does not stop there, as "High-poverty schools experience a teacher turnover rate of about 20% per calendar year—roughly 50% higher than the rate in more affluent schools" (p. 3). Not only does the education system have this high turnover rate, but the areas of the highest need have a significantly greater turnover rate. Haynes (2014) continues to move and show that not only are we losing teachers, but we are retaining only about 50% of our teachers past the five–year mark. Between 40%–50% of teachers leave within five years. According to Haynes (2014), in 1987–88, the model, or most common experience level, was 15 years; by 2008, the typical teacher was in his or her first year of teaching. Because the economic downturn beginning in 2007–08 slowed the rate of increase in the number of beginning teachers, by 2011–12, the model teacher was someone in his or her fifth years; however, the overall experience of teachers has dropped in the past 25 years since 1987. (p. 3) This study took a quantitative Q methodology approach to evaluate which strategies for teacher retention are effective and which are not. This study identifies solutions to the teacher retention crisis in Texas public schools by identifying why teachers stay and if understanding generational differences could aid in the retention of teachers.


Ray Thompson

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Leadership