Reasons Early Career Black Special Education Teachers Quit Their Positions
- special education; teacher education; teacher attrition; teacher retention; Black special education teachers
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Special education policymakers and practitioners are concerned about attrition among teachers, especially those who leave early in their careers and teachers of color. To increase knowledge about attrition, I examined demographic and interview data from 10 Black teachers who quit their positions before they completed their probationary periods (1-3 years). Guided by Cox’s (1994) cultural diversity in organization model designed to capture the complex nature of diversity in organizations, I used phenomenological research methods to better understand the teachers’ experiences surrounding the decision to quit. The qualitative analyses revealed four themes: (a) inadequate mentoring, (b) role abuse, (c) cultural insensitivity, and (d) inadequate resources. I conclude with suggestions for education policies and practices at the local and federal level that special educators can employ to address these issues. This paper highlights issues of attrition within a subgroup of educators (Black special educators) that are underrepresented in the research literature.
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