Examining the Layers of Beginning Teacher Retention: A Cross-Case Analysis at the Elementary Level

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Virginia Tech

The cross-case analysis described in this study examined the patterns of practice that support the beginning teacher in the elementary school environment of a large suburban school district. Bronfenbrenner’s (1976) systemic model of the educational environment as a series of nested, interacting sub-systems was used as a compass for this study. Data were collected beginning in the exo-system and continued through the meso-system and micro-system of the educational environment. Interviews with central office staff at the exo-system level, with the school administrator at the meso-system level, and with beginning elementary teachers at the micro-system were the primary means of data collection. Interview data were collected from three beginning teachers in the elementary school with the largest number of beginning teachers in the district, the principal of the school, and central office personnel. Evolving display matrices were the primary strategy for data analysis. Themes were identified at each level of the educational environment. Findings reveal consistent themes within the levels of the elementary school environment.

Beginning Teacher, Leadership Support, Teacher Preparation Support