Roots of Attrition: Reflections of Teacher Candidates in Title I SchoolsReport as inadecuate

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Critical Questions in Education, v3 n1 p1-11 Win 2012

The self-efficacy of the 12 teacher candidates in this study was negatively impacted by student discipline and classroom management as evidenced by their concern they will not be able to manage a public school classroom. Pre-practicum conversations and planning sessions showed enthusiasm and excitement at the opportunity to teach lessons and become actively engaged in the public schools, but this was replaced by self-doubt and anxiety about classroom management as the semester progressed. Even though this was a reading course practicum, journal entries and reflections focused on classroom management, which emphasizes the impact these experiences in the classroom and these interactions with students had on this group of teacher candidates. Research has shown that student discipline and classroom management are cited as attrition factors in practicing teachers, and some researchers suggest teacher education programs are not preparing teacher candidates to manage classrooms in today's educational climate (Darling-Hammond, 2003; Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., 2006; Kopowski, 2008; Anhorn, 2008). As seen in this study, it appears the roots of attrition may be planted as early as the first interactions in public school classrooms when teacher candidates enter the experience with little or no training and without sufficient background knowledge to effectively evaluate and process what they are observing.

Descriptors: Preservice Teachers, Student Teaching, Self Efficacy, Student Attrition, Faculty Mobility, Classroom Techniques, Practicums, Public Schools, Journal Writing, Reflection, Teacher Education Programs, Teacher Attitudes, Mentors, Qualitative Research, Grounded Theory

Academy for Educational Studies. 2419 Berkeley Street, Springfield, MO 65804. Tel: 417-299-1560; e-mail: cqieeditors[at]; Web site:

Author: Pearman, Cathy J.; Lefever-Davis, Shirley


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