Hays Moulton, Ph.D. is a 2021 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.
Dr. Hays Moulton at his Dissertation Defense.
From L-R: Dr. Jon Wergin, Committee Chair, Dr. Philomena Essed, Committee Member, Dr. Todd S. Hawley, Committee Member
- Jon Wergin, Ph.D., Committee Chair
- Philomena Essed, Ph.D., Committee Member
- Todd S. Hawley, Ph.D., Committee Member
teacher retention, sensemaking, sense making, school accountability, Self-Determination Theory, teacher motivation, leadership
The purpose of this research study was to examine how novice teachers make sense of the realities of their chosen profession, given their initial motivations for entering the profession. My research into teacher motivation and retention provided evidence that teachers did enter the field for altruistic reasons and that as many as 50% of all new teachers in urban schools did not last beyond five years. When they begin teaching, they find a field that is heavily impacted by strict accountability standards and required mandated testing. I used Sensemaking Theory and Self-Determination Theory to examine how beginning teachers make sense of their chosen profession, how the principles of Self-Determination Theory interact with sensemaking to influence teachers’ decisions to stay or leave teaching, and whether teachers would indicate points of influence that school leaders had used to help them decide to keep teaching. I used narrative inquiry to interview 21 teachers who were in their 3rd to 6th year of teaching from public schools at different grade levels and specializations. My interviews suggest that teachers who decide early in their lives to become teachers were more likely to have trouble making sense of the urban school classroom compared to teachers who decided to become teachers as adults, especially after working in a different field. This suggests that school leaders should consider teachers’ motivation to enter teaching as they design professional development opportunities and assign teachers to teams. This dissertation is available in open access at Antioch University Repository and Archive (AURA), https://aura.antioch.edu/ and OhioLINK ETD Center, http://etd.ohiolink.edu/.
Moulton, H. K. (2021). Novice Teachers' Sensemaking in an Era of Accountability: Implications for School Leaders. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/702