Status Quo Fatigue

By Rebecca Kern — July 07, 2009 1 min read
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A new study on teacher turnover found that teachers often leave the profession due to tensions with school officials and fellow educators over differing teaching philosophies and school policies, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Nationwide, one third of the teachers leave the profession within their first three years, and by the end of five years, only 40 to 50 percent of the teachers remain.

Four researchers at Georgia Southern University interviewed 134 teachers at a large metropolitan elementary school to study teacher turnover. One unique aspect of the study was that it was suggested by the schools’ teachers, who wanted to understand why so many of their colleagues have left, according to says Barbara Meyers, chair of the GSU Department of Early Childhood Education.

The teachers who remained said they did so due to close relationships with fellow teachers and administrators, the diverse student body, and the academic environment.
The teachers who left the school, on the other hand, were often those who challenged the status quo and were dubbed “troublemakers,” explained Brian Lack, one of the GSU researchers.

“People who want to bring radical forms of change are often the ones who are driven out,” he said.

Many reform models call on the principals to change the status quo, but Lack said this was not the case in the study.

“What you see is stuff coming down from the board of education and the county offices just being accepted as the status quo,” Lack said

A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.