Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore the motivational factors that have influenced South Carolina (SC) elementary self-contained special education teachers to remain in the profession beyond the 5-year mark, while despite having the same experiences, many others quickly leave the profession behind. Based on the theoretical framework of Ryan and Deci’s (2018) motivational theory of self-determination, this study sought to explore the lived experiences of 10 special education teachers. Data were collected through interviews, member-checked, coded, and analyzed for common themes. The results indicated that student growth and success; relationships with students, parents, and colleagues; collaboration and planning; and a mindset of perseverance were the top four reasons these teachers have persisted in the classroom. The goal of this study was to identify motivational factors that may assist in keeping special education teachers in the profession beyond the 5-year mark.
Mills, Judith, "Why Do They Stay? A Qualitative Study on the Motivation of South Carolina Elementary Self-Contained Special Education Teachers Who Persist in the Classroom" (2021). Doctor of Education Dissertations. 49.
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