Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Urban Middle School Physical Education Teachers: Why They Stay

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Urban Middle School Physical Education Teachers: Why They Stay

Article excerpt

The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the reasons why middle school physical education teachers stayed in urban schools. More teachers leave urban schools in the first 3-5 years than their suburban or rural counterparts (Chester & Beaudin, 1996; Schwartz, 1996). A high rate of teacher turnover has been linked to poor student performance, teacher dissatisfaction, and a lack of collegiality among faculty, students, administration, and the community (Darling-Hammond, 2000; Imazeki, 2002; Ingersoll, 2001). This study is significant because, while much is known about the lives and careers of teachers who leave urban school districts (Schwartz, 1996); little is known about teachers who have experienced career longevity in urban schools. Schools as workplaces and teacher career development served as the theoretical framework for this study of the lives and careers of eight experienced urban middle school physical education teachers (men = 5; women = 3) from one large school district in the northeast. All appropriate human participants protocols were observed. Data were collected through the completion of career sentence stems, in depth semistructured interviews, and nonparticipant observations. Data were analyzed through open and axial coding (Strauss & Corbin, 1998) to identify and define categories and cross case analysis to identify themes or patters across participants. Trustworthiness was established and maintained through member checks, peer debriefing, and the completion of researcher memos. …

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