Teachers' Perceptions of Rural STEM Teaching: Implications for Rural Teacher Retention

  • Kasey P. S. Goodpaster Purdue University
  • Omolola A. Adedokun Purdue University
  • Gabriela C. Weaver Purdue University

Abstract

Rural school districts often struggle with attracting and retaining high-quality teachers, especially in science subject areas. However, little is known about STEM in-service teachers’ lived experiences of rural teaching as they relate to retention. In this phenomenographical study, six rural in-service science teachers were interviewed regarding their perceptions of the benefits and challenges of teaching in rural schools in general, and teaching science subjects in particular. Community interactions, professional development, and rural school structures emerged as three key factors related to rural teacher retention. Participants viewed each of these factors as having both positive and negative aspects. Findings from this study confirm existing literature regarding rural teaching, in general, but provide additional insight into the complexities of rural science teaching, in particular. Implications for rural teacher preparation, recruitment, and retention are discussed.  

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Author Biographies

Kasey P. S. Goodpaster, Purdue University
Kasey P. S. Goodpaster is a counseling psychology doctoral candidate and an assessment and evaluation research assistant in the Discovery Learning Research Center at Purdue University.
Omolola A. Adedokun, Purdue University
Omolola A. Adedokun is an assessment coordinator in the Discovery Learning Research Center at Purdue University.
Gabriela C. Weaver, Purdue University
Gabriela C. Weaver is the director of the Discovery Learning Research Center at Purdue University.  
Published
2012-07-15
How to Cite
Goodpaster, K. P. S., Adedokun, O. A., & Weaver, G. C. (2012). Teachers’ Perceptions of Rural STEM Teaching: Implications for Rural Teacher Retention. The Rural Educator, 33(3). https://doi.org/10.35608/ruraled.v33i3.408
Section
Research Articles