Donald P. Kauffman, Ed.D.
Abstract: A Discriminant Analysis of Teacher Retention Factor Importance as Reported in Evangelical Christian Schools (2010)
Teacher retention is a problem in today's schools. The question addressed in this blended quantitative and qualitative study conducted in evangelical Christian schools was, what factors most significantly predict the retention of Christian school teachers on linear combinations of 40 predictor retention factor variables? A questionnaire administered to a sample of full-time teachers (N=809) in Association of Christian Schools International schools (differentiated by groups of years of teaching experience, gender, marital status, and grade-level of teaching) provided data for prediction of the importance placed upon various retention factors. The author blended statistical results from a discriminant analysis of data (p < .05) with qualitative data in order to combine predicted levels of retention factor importance with congruent and representative explanations for fuller understanding. Although the findings revealed several important factors, when converging the quantitative and qualitative analyses results, the findings revealed only one major area of agreement predicting Christian school teacher retention—having a sense of mission and calling to teach. One additional theme emerged from the qualitative analysis as the single-most important factor unique to Christian school teacher retention: being able to teach from a Christian perspective. Based upon these findings, the author suggested several implementation strategies for Christian school administrators related to (a) initial hiring, (b) professional development, (c) teaching from a Christian perspective, (d) administrative support, (e) expressions of value and respect, (f) teacher pay and benefits, and (g) professional learning communities. Conclusions were made with recommendations for expanding the findings through further study.
For Dr. Kauffman's complete dissertation, click here to order (UMI Publication Number 3398634).