23 SES 14 B, Teacher Retention and Attrition: An International Inquiry
The number of teachers leaving the profession is high internationally, including in Norway. What causes teachers to leave? This paper discusses why Norwegian teachers abandon their careers. There are several reasons for why people leave teaching, such as poor teacher education (Skilbeck & Connell, 2003; Roness & Smith, 2010), burnout (Goddard & Goddard, 2006), working conditions (Cochran-Smith & Zeichner, 2005), and poor leadership (Johnson et al., 2012). The Norwegian case so far has had two foci: 1) a review of literature on teacher attrition; and 2) data collected through individual semi-structured interviews with 23 volunteer ex-teachers. All interviews were transcribed, and 6 researchers analyzed the transcripts individually, summarized each interview vertically, then horizontally. All analyses were summarized by the project leader. The final summary was approved by all team members. The literature review suggests there is not much Norwegian literature on teacher attrition. The main reasons for leaving the profession in Norway are: the experience of dissonance between expectations of the job and reality; lack of challenge; difficulties in securing permanent positions; and disagreement with school policies. Issues such as salary and the status of the teaching profession were not found to be salient reasons for leaving teaching in Norway.
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