Examining the Relationship between Teacher Turnover and Teacher Engagement
Taylor, Ariel J.
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Background: Teacher turnover is a significant issue for schools and districts around the nation as they fail to retain highly qualified teachers. Educational researchers have taken an interest in turnover and many studies have explored the factors that contribute to teacher turnover, such as teacher characteristics, student characteristics, and organizational characteristics. Purpose: Research has not yet explored teacher engagement as a predictor of turnover, however, even though research from the human resources field has found engagement to be a significant predictor of employee turnover. Therefore, the goal of this study was to examine the magnitude and direction of the relationship between teacher engagement and teacher turnover. Methods: An internet-based survey was used to gather teachers’ responses from a sample of 143 current, certified, secondary STEM teachers who completed the UTeach certification program at the University of Texas at Austin between 1998-2016. This study employed binomial logistic regression analysis to investigate the extent to which employee engagement helps to predict teachers’ intention to leave their position at the end of the year. Results: The results showed that of the three components of engagement, only behavioral engagement was a significant predictor, and it was negatively associated with teacher turnover intent. Conclusion: The findings from this study did not support the proposed hypotheses and raise questions about the role that teacher engagement plays in teachers’ decisions to stay or leave. Additional research is necessary to fully understand the impact and relationship of employee engagement on teacher turnover intent.