Will They Stay or Will They Go? Using Organizational Theory to Examine Policy Effects on New Teacher Turnover
Thomas Max Smith

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



Vanderbilt University

Primary Discipline

My project will apply organizational theory to better understand policy effects on turnover among beginning teachers. The study will use the nationally and state representative Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) and its longitudinal component the Teacher Follow-up Survey (TFS) to examine why new teachers quit their positions at such high rates. Specifically, the project will focus on how (a) pre-service socialization, including pedagogical coursework and the number of weeks of practice teaching, (b) socialization during the first year of teaching, including participation in induction/mentorship programs and collaborative planning with other teachers, and (c) administrative support, including principals’ buffering of non-instructional activities, are related to the likelihood that a teacher will leave teaching or change schools at the end of their first year of teaching. I will also examine whether different types of support for first year teachers attenuate a “socialization gap” that may exist between teachers receiving different types of pre-service education and experience. Finally, I will examine the extent to which state-level regulations regarding teacher hiring and state-level curriculum and accountability policies explain between-state variation in the likelihood of turnover among beginning teachers.
About Thomas Max Smith

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