The social side of teacher turnover: Closeness and trust among general and special education teachers in the United States

Megan Hopkins*, Peter Bjorklund, James P Spillane

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Social conditions in schools can influence teacher turnover. In this study, we use longitudinal data from 47 general and special education teachers in the same mid-sized district in the Midwestern United States, and employ survival analysis to identify the social conditions that predict turnover in teachers’ first five years on the job. Findings reveal that the quality of teachers’ relationships mattered more than the quantity of their social ties. Specifically, teachers reporting higher levels of relational trust were significantly less likely to leave or move, while social network closeness did not significantly predict leaving or moving. Further, our findings that special education teachers were particularly susceptible to leaving or moving compared to their general education colleagues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-302
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research
Volume98
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Social capital
  • Social networks
  • Teacher turnover
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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