Journal of Technology Education


JTE Editor: Mark Sanders

Volume 3, Number 1
Fall 1991


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Retaining Teachers in Technology Education: Probable Causes, Possible Solutions
 
                        Michael D. Wright
 
               The International Technology Education
          Association's (ITEA) Professional Improvement
          Plan called for a study that would address
          the technology education teacher retention
          problem.  As a result, ITEA Task Force E con-
          ducted a national survey of state supervisors
          of technology education and ITEA affiliated
          association presidents to determine probable
          causes and identify possible actions that
          could be taken to remedy the situation.
 
          TEACHER RETENTION: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
               The scope of educational activities that
          should take place in schools has been, and
          continues to be, a matter of controversy.
          Most people involved with public schools
          agree that a major objective of schools is to
          promote the scholastic achievement of the
          students (Goodlad, 1984).  There is little
          doubt that teachers are directly involved in
          the academic progress of their students.
               Research has established that a re-
          lationship exists between teacher satisfac-
          tion and student achievement (Doyle &
          Forsyth, 1973; Goodman, 1980; and, Stanton,
          1974).  In general, the findings tended to
          indicate that teachers in secondary schools
          whose students achieve relatively high scho-
          lastically had higher morale than did teach-
          ers in schools with relatively low pupil
          achievement.  Similarly, student achievement
          tended to increase under teachers with high
          morale and decreased under teachers with low
          morale.
               It appears that teacher morale or satis-
          faction does make a difference in the scho-
          lastic achievement of students.  For this
          reason, teacher satisfaction and a closely
          related issue, the retention of qualified
          teachers, has been a concern for several dec-
          ades.   The literature review progresses from
          very broad, theory-oriented research to more
          specific studies concerned with technology
          teachers.  The term "technology teacher" will
          be used as a generic term to include indus-
          trial arts, industrial education, industrial
          technology, technology education and related
          fields.
 
          JOB SATISFACTION OF TEACHERS
               Historically, job satisfaction was
          viewed as a continuum.  Certain factors, if
          present, contributed to job satisfaction; and
          if absent, contributed to job dissatisfac-
          tion, and vice-versa.  Herzberg, Mausner, and
          Snyderman (1959) developed what has been
          called the Two-Factor Theory of job satisfac-
          tion or the Motivation-Hygiene Theory.  In
          contrast to conventional theory at the time,
          Herzberg concluded there were certain condi-
          tions of employment that, if present, acted
          as job satisfiers (motivators) and other con-
          ditions that acted as job dissatisfiers (hy-
          giene factors).  The absence of motivators
          did not contribute to job dissatisfaction,
          nor did the absence of hygiene factors con-
          tribute to job satisfaction or motivation.
          Fourteen factors were identified as contrib-
          uting to job satisfaction or dissatisfaction.
          The factors identified were: achievement, re-
          cognition, interpersonal relations, responsi-
          bility, advancement, salary, job security,
          personal life, status, working conditions,
          policy and administration, supervision, and
          the work itself.  Herzberg believed these
          factors to be universal in the workplace.
               Several research studies have attempted
          to replicate and/or apply Herzberg's (1959)
          famous "Motivation to Work" study in educa-
          tional settings.  Johnson (1967) identified
          five factors (achievement, recognition,
          interpersonal relations, work itself, and re-
          sponsibility) that had statistical signif-
          icance in affecting teacher satisfaction.
          Four factors (policy and administration,
          working conditions, status, and personal
          life) were significant in affecting teacher
          dissatisfaction.  Johnson suggested that
          "...the personality of the principal seemed
          to be the factor which controlled the atti-
          tude of teachers" and that "the findings of
          this study indicated that the organizational
          climate of schools contributed to teacher
          satisfaction--dissatisfaction" (p. 139).
               Sergiovanni (1966), in another repli-
          cation of Herzberg's study in an educational
          setting, interviewed teachers to find out
          about events associated with their jobs that
          made them feel unusually good and unusually
          bad.  According to Sergiovanni's classifica-
          tion of the teachers' responses, achievement
          and recognition were ranked first and second
          as factors contributing to good feelings
          about the job.
               Robert Simmons (1970) found three "con-
          tent" factors (achievement in the job, the
          work itself, and recognition) that contribute
          to satisfaction in teaching.  Achievement in
          teaching contributed most to satisfaction.
          Recognition from the principal was determined
          to be a significant part of the recognition
          factor.
               In a study of job satisfaction that fo-
          cused on high school business teachers in
          Ohio, Lacy (1968) identified 27 factors that
          were significant for a high level of teacher
          job satisfaction.  School administration was
          found to affect teacher job satisfaction.
          That is, teachers with a high level of job
          satisfaction indicated, "[they] received re-
          cognition for a job well done ...  adminis-
          trators had democratic methods of dealing
          with teachers" (p. 222).
               Graham (1985) believes that unreasonable
          burdens and too little time drive more people
          from the teaching profession than low sala-
          ries.  According to Graham, an approach that
          would make a big difference would be to reor-
          ganize teachers' days and priorities to save
          precious time that is lost.  The suggestions
          offered by Graham centered primarily around
          working conditions: reduce class size, pro-
          vide clerical help, reduce non-reaching ac-
          tivities, give every teacher a student
          assistant, seek help from parents, and pro-
          vide monthly, non-teaching work days.
               Litt and Turk (1985) surveyed high
          school teachers to identify sources of stress
          and dissatisfaction that might induce teach-
          ers to leave teaching.  The results suggested
          that "the role teachers perceived for them-
          selves and the school climate, particularly
          the relationship with administrators, may be
          extremely important in predicting job stress"
          (p.178).
               The "context" aspects of work (e.g.,
          working conditions, school policy, and sal-
          ary) identified by numerous studies, serve
          only to reduce dissatisfaction in the lower-
          order needs identified by Maslow (1954); they
          cannot lead to growth or satisfaction.  The
          "content" aspects of teaching (e.g. achieve-
          ment, recognition, and the work itself) cor-
          respond to esteem and self-actualization, the
          top of Maslow's hierarchy.  Psychological
          growth and satisfaction depend upon success-
          ful job completion, so only those factors
          that are content centered (intrinsic aspects
          of teaching) can contribute to satisfaction.
 
          TECHNOLOGY TEACHER SATISFACTION
               Technology teachers have an instruc-
          tional role that is different from many other
          teachers.  The nature of their teaching is
          primarily the problem-solving approach, fre-
          quently utilizing one-on-one instruction.
          Technology teachers tend to develop a sense
          of "ownership" over their labs, partly due to
          the amount of maintenance and other personal
          time they have invested in the facility.  Lab
          sharing for technology teachers can be a
          source of frustration when needed supplies
          and/or tools for a class have been used or
          abused by someone other than the person who
          ordered and maintained them.  In addition,
          many technology teachers have skills which
          can be utilized in business and industry em-
          ployment at salaries and benefits that are
          frequently greater than they receive from
          teaching.
               The Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire
          (MSQ) was used by Steinbach (1979) to measure
          the level of job satisfaction for public sec-
          ondary industrial arts teachers in Minnesota.
          The evidence from Steinbach's study indicated
          that certain job reinforcers of industrial
          arts teachers were significantly associated
          with their level of satisfaction.  The
          strongest associations were among the follow-
          ing characteristics: steady employment, work-
          ing conditions, position in the community,
          feeling of accomplishment, supervisory compe-
          tence, administrative support, judgmental
          freedom, organizational practices, authority,
          doing for others, and competitive pay.
               Wright (1985) interviewed technology
          teachers to determine if relationships ex-
          isted between esteem, autonomy, job satisfac-
          tion, and the intention to quit teaching.
          Wright found that teachers' over-all job sat-
          isfaction was positively correlated with the
          PERCEIVED amount of esteem and negatively
          correlated with the intention to quit teach-
          ing.  The study also indicated that teachers
          in small schools have more esteem, but lower
          salaries, than teachers in medium or large
          schools.  Building principals could have tre-
          mendous impact on teachers' perceived esteem,
          and therefore, their over-all satisfaction
          AND their intention to remain in teaching.
               A significant finding from Wright's
          study was that neither actual salary nor the
          teacher's satisfaction with their salary was
          related to the intention to quit teaching.
          Perceived esteem was the variable most highly
          correlated with the intention to quit teach-
          ing.
               The research related to the variable
          "esteem" (recognition, praise, status, high-
          regard), based on Maslow's hierarchy, has
          identified several distinct groups from which
          teachers receive esteem (Johnson, 1967; Lacy,
          1968; Sergiovanni, 1966; Simmons, 1970; and
          Wright, 1985).  These groups included stu-
          dents, parents, the community, and school ad-
          ministrators.
 
          TECHNOLOGY TEACHER TURNOVER
               There are several studies of technology
          teachers who had left teaching (Dye, 1981;
          Edmunds, 1982; Lindsey, 1979; and, Tomlinson,
          1982).  The results of these studies provide
          a foundation from which to build.
               Vocational industrial education teachers
          in Texas who had quit teaching cited salary
          as the primary reason (Lindsey, 1979).  In
          addition, three of the top ten reasons were
          related to the teachers' relationship with
          the school administration.
               In another attempt to identify factors
          involved in vocational industrial teachers'
          decision to leave teaching, Dye (1981) iden-
          tified several characteristics where mobile
          teachers differed from stable teachers.  Mo-
          bile teachers were defined as those who had
          left a teaching position while stable teach-
          ers were defined as those who remained in
          teaching.  Low teaching salary was identified
          as the most significant difference between
          mobile and stable teachers.  Mobile teachers
          had a low opinion of teaching salaries,
          whereas stable teachers had a relatively high
          opinion of teaching salaries.  Mobile teach-
          ers were found to feel significantly less
          support by the local school system than did
          stable teachers.  The issue again appears to
          be one of individual perception.
               Dye's (1981) and Wright's (1985) results
          would suggest that teacher PERCEPTIONS of
          conditions are perhaps more important than
          "actual" conditions in affecting job satis-
          faction and the intention to continue or dis-
          continue teaching.  This perception presents
          a challenge to the building administrator:
          how do they make technology, or any other,
          teachers FEEL that they are supported.  Re-
          gardless of budget appropriations, the build-
          ing administrator must convey the spirit of
          program support to the teachers.
               Technology teacher turnover and filling
          technology vacancies have become significant
          problems in many states.  Technology teachers
          in Illinois, for example, have had a turnover
          rate as high as 14% per year.  The technology
          teacher vacancy situation has been further
          compounded by the reduction in the number of
          graduates that are certificated and elect to
          teach technology.  During the ten year period
          from 1972-1982, the number of persons that
          graduated with eligibility to teach technol-
          ogy in Illinois declined by 50%.  In addition
          to the attrition from teaching by first and
          second year technology teachers, significant
          numbers of veteran teachers are approaching
          retirement age.  In 1980, 17.5% of all indus-
          trial education teachers in Illinois were 50
          years or above (Tomlinson, 1982).
               Similarly, Devier and Wright (1987) as-
          sessed the status of technology education in
          Ohio and reported some rather alarming data.
          In 1987, 25% of all practicing technology
          teachers in Ohio were either retiring or eli-
          gible to retire within the next five years
          (1987-92).  Perhaps even more alarming, 50%
          of the technology teachers would be retiring
          or eligible to retire within ten years!
          (Devier and Wright, 1987).
               In an effort to determine if the supply
          of new technology teachers would be able to
          keep pace with the demand to fill vacancies,
          Devier and Wright (1988) surveyed teacher ed-
          ucation institutions and secondary school
          district superintendents in Ohio.  The
          projected supply of graduates certified to
          teach technology, which is down approximately
          50% from 1980,  cannot meet the retirement
          rate in the best case scenario.  In the worst
          case scenario, in which not all graduates de-
          cide to teach, many teachers elect early re-
          tirement, and the state mandates a proposed
          technology education course in the middle
          grades, the supply will be just one-fourth of
          the demand!  Although no one can accurately
          predict demand, it would appear that the cur-
          rent supply of technology majors in college
          (1988-92) will fall short of the demand.
               The effects of school climate are read-
          ily apparent to the trained observer; yet,
          school climate is incredibly complex and dif-
          ficult to assess empirically.  Recent studies
          have clearly indicated the importance of the
          principal's leadership style in determining
          the school climate (Goodlad, 1984; Lipsitz,
          1984; Sergiovanni & Starrett, 1983; and
          Wright, 1985).  One manifestation of the
          school climate is the professional freedom
          afforded to teachers to carry out their as-
          signments in support of the school's mission.
          The importance of achievement, recognition,
          and organizational climate for teacher satis-
          faction was documented by Johnson (1967),
          Lacy (1968), Sergiovanni (1966), and Wright
          (1985).  These factors, then, may be influ-
          enced by the principal.  Lipsitz (1984),
          Sergiovanni and Starrett (1983), Weller
          (1982), and Wright (1985) concluded that the
          administrator was one of the key factors in-
          fluencing teacher morale and satisfaction.
 
                    TEACHER RETENTION SURVEY
          SURVEY DESIGN
               A research study was designed at the re-
          quest of the ITEA Board of Directors to iden-
          tify reasons teachers leave the profession as
          well as possible solutions to this problem.
          A questionnaire was developed which listed
          twelve possible causes of the teacher re-
          tention problem and ten possible solutions to
          the problem.  The factors were derived from
          the literature review and input by profes-
          sionals in the field.  The respondents were
          asked to rate these factors on a Likert-type,
          five choice scale.  A value of "1" referred
          to either a low probable cause of the teacher
          retention problem or a low possibility of be-
          ing a partial solution to the problem, and a
          value of "5" represented either a strong
          probable cause of the teacher retention prob-
          lem or a strong possibility of being a par-
          tial solution to the problem.
 
          RETURN
          The questionnaires were mailed to technology
          education state supervisors and presidents of
          ITEA affiliated state associations as well as
          selected corresponding officials from
          Canadian Provinces and U.S. Territories.
          This sample represents a "secondary source"
          for research focused on teachers.  It was de-
          termined that this was the most expedient
          method to collect the data given the opera-
          tional parameters.  The Advisory Committee
          concurred with the researchers. The total
          number mailed was 100, with a nearly equal
          distribution between supervisors (51) and
          presidents (49).  The number of instruments
          returned was 58, of which 56 were usable.
          Twenty four surveys were returned by associ-
          ation presidents (47%) and 32 were received
          from supervisors (61%).
 
          DISCUSSION OF THE SURVEY DATA
               The data obtained from the survey are
          reported in Tables 1 - 6.  The possible
          causes of the teacher retention problem are
          presented first (Tables 1 - 3) followed by
          the possible solutions (Tables 4 - 6).  The
          factors which were listed on the question-
          naire are rank ordered by their mean ratings
          in Tables 1 & 4.  Tables 2 - 3 and 5 - 6 list
          additional factors suggested by the two
          groups of respondents.
               The write-in responses provided by the
          state supervisors and association presidents
          for both possible causes and possible sol-
          utions were content analyzed.  Four themes
          emerged from this analysis: Administrative,
          Professional, Economic, and
          Classroom/Student.  Write-in responses were
          usually fragmented, incomplete sentences.
          Analysis was therefore subject to interpreta-
          tion and thus used for discussion purposes
          only.
               The data in Table 1 on the possible
          causes of the teacher retention problem indi-
          cate that "lack of support by administration"
          is most important (mean 4.12).  This was the
          only factor listed with a mean above 4.0.
          The second and third rated causes were "low
          salary/lack of benefits" and "budget re-
          strictions."  These two items both pertain to
          economic factors.  The second relates to the
          teacher's personal life and the third relates
          to the teacher's professional life. The
          fourth rated factor, "lack of academic
          freedom/choice of teaching assignments, etc."
          may also be considered as an Administrative
          factor.  Thus, two of the top four rated fac-
          tors are related to administration.
 
          TABLE 1
          POSSIBLE CAUSES OF THE TEACHER RETENTION
          PROBLEM (N=56)
          ---------------------------------------------
          Rank                Cause             Rating
          ---------------------------------------------
          1    Lack of Support By Administration    4.12
          2    Low Salary/Lack of Benefits          3.91
          3    Budget Restrictions                  3.88
          4    Lack of Academic Freedom/Choice of
               Teaching Assingments, Etc.           3.85
          5    Student Apathy                       3.52
          6    Lack of Facilities/Equipment         3.43
          7    Student Conduct                      3.38
          8    Lack of Opportunity for Promotion    3.23
          9    Lack of Basic Job Satisfaction       3.10
          10   Low Status In Community              2.89
          11   Extra Duties i.e., Lunchroom Monitor,
               etc.                                 2.86
          12   Forced Participation In Extra Curricular
               Assignments                          2.74
          ---------------------------------------------
 
               Table 2 lists additional causes of the
          teacher retention problem as reported by
          state supervisors of technology education.
          The twenty-four (24) responses were categor-
          ized according to the four themes estab-
          lished.  Professional Reasons included seven
          (7) responses (29%), Economic Reasons seven
          (7) responses (29%), Administrative Factors
          six (6) responses (25%), and Student-
          Classroom Factors totaled four (4) responses
          (17%).
 
          TABLE 2
          ADDITIONAL CAUSES REPORTED BY THE SUPERVISORS
          (N=24)
          ---------------------------------------------
          Professional Reasons (7)
 
          o   Low status among colleagues outside tech-
              nology education
          o   Lack of understanding of technology edu-
              cation revolution
          o   Difficulty accomplishing necessary public
              relations work
          o   Lack of involvement in shaping curric-
              ulum, school policy
          o   Lack of opportunity for professional im-
              provement
          o   In-service activities not within reason-
              able distance
          o   Lack of financial support for continuing
              education
 
          Economic Reasons (7)
 
          o   Greater opportunities in industry
          o   Teachers leave when jobs in industry are
              available
          o   Stayed in teaching long enough to obtain
              benefits prior to beginning second career
          o   Attractive retirement offers
          o   Lack of summer jobs available
          o   State economy
 
          Administrative / Teaching Schedules / RIFs
          (6)
 
          o   Administrative paperwork
          o   4 - 5 daily preparations at high school
              level
          o   Class scheduling (decreases student
              options)
          o   Program reductions - lack of support
          o   Curriculum not required at junior high,
              therefore students are not enrolling at
              high school
 
          Classroom / Students (4)
 
          o   Lack of support for discipline
          o   Large class sizes
          o   Working only with low ability students
          o   Teacher burnout
 
          ---------------------------------------------
 
               Table 3 lists additional causes of the
          teacher retention problem suggested by the
          ITEA affiliated association presidents.  The
          nineteen (19) responses were categorized as
          follows: Professional Reasons - 8 (42%), Ad-
          ministrative Reasons - 7 (37%), and Economic
          Reasons - 3 (16%).  By comparison, 29% of the
          supervisors' responses were related to Eco-
          nomic Factors.  Both groups reported the
          largest number of responses related to Pro-
          fessional Reasons.
 
          TABLE 3
          ADDITIONAL CAUSES REPORTED BY ASSOCIATION
          PRESIDENTS (N=19)
          ---------------------------------------------
          Professional Reasons (8)
 
          o   Low status on faculty
          o   No real-life experiences to relate class-
              room instruction to
          o   In-service support not available for new
              technologies
          o   Lack of teacher's rights
          o   Too much responsibility placed on
              teachers: checks for physical, sexual,
              and drug abuse; morality; etc
          o   State organization weak, no real support
              for teachers
          o   Stress: health effects
          o   Pressure to make changes
 
          Administrative Reasons (7)
 
          o   Low support from faculty and guidance
              personnel
          o   Higher graduation standards, little time
              for electives
          o   Declining enrollments
          o   Dropped from minimum standards
          o   Teachers forced out due to cut-backs
              caused by other course requirements
          o   Legislative requirements
          o   Transferred to T & I program
 
          Economic Reasons (3)
 
          o   Other opportunities arise
          o   Retirements
          o   Graduates do not have adequate prepara-
              tion for jobs
 
          Classroom / Students (1)
 
          o   Students get off too easy
 
          ---------------------------------------------
 
               Table 4 lists the mean ratings of the
          possible solutions to the teacher retention
          problem identified on the survey.  "Increased
          funding for education" and "stronger parental
          support for education" were tied for first
          with a mean rating of 4.4.  The respondents
          also felt strongly that school administration
          should shift their focus from external issues
          to internal issues (mean 4.18).
 
          TABLE 4
          POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS TO THE TEACHER RETENTION
          PROBLEM (N=56)
          ---------------------------------------------
          Rank               Solution           Rating
          ---------------------------------------------
            1  Increased federal, state, and local
               financial support of education.     4.40
            1  Stronger parental support for the   4.40
               educational process.
            3  Refocusing of attention on the part 4.18
               school administration from external
               issues to internal issues
               internal issues - teacher support.
            4  20% increase in all teachers
               salaries                            3.84
            5  Use of paraprofessionals for extra
               duties i.e., lunchroom monitors,
               etc.                                3.68
            5  National campaign to reform public
               opinion of teaching.                3.68
            7  Less attention to retaining all
               students in school at all costs and
               more attention to working with
               students who want to learn.         3.60
            8  Relocation of authority in
               selection of course content,
               instruction, etc. to allow for all
               teachers to participate in choices. 3.50
            9  Creation of broad-based teacher
               recognition at all levels i.e.
               teacher of month etc.               3.47
           10  Development of Master Teacher
               Hierarchy to create a promotion
               ladder.                             3.29
          ---------------------------------------------
 
               Table 5 lists additional solutions to
          the teacher retention problem suggested by
          the responding supervisors.  The twelve (12)
          responses were categorized as follows: Admin-
          istrative Practices - 5 (42%), Professional
          Activities - 4 (33%), Economic Factors - 2
          (17%), and Classroom Issues - 1 (8%).
 
          TABLE 5
          ADDITIONAL SOLUTIONS REPORTED BY SUPERVISORS
          (N=12)
          ---------------------------------------------
          Administrative Practices (5)
 
          o   Re-establish administrative links with
              the teaching process
          o   Publish standards for school board member
              participation and responsibility
          o   Vocational education is not just a fed-
              eral program - support at the local level
          o   Reduce class sizes to 22:1 (18:1 with
              mainstreamed special needs students)
          o   Working relationship of counselors with
              ALL students and teachers, not just col-
              lege bound or "academic"
 
          Professional Activities (4)
 
          o   More participation and support for
              subject/specialty organizations (ITEA)
              instead of generic groups (NEA)
          o   Paid sabbaticals for education, self-
              improvement, study, and re-certification
          o   Promotional efforts for technology educa-
              tion
          o   Professional staff development: financial
              and administrative support for out-of-
              state travel to national conferences,
              workshops, and seminars; allow teachers
              to participate in industry-sponsored
              workshops
 
          Economic Factors (2)
 
          o   Benefits package equal to private sector
          o   Same increase in salary as congress
 
          Classroom / Students (1)
 
          o   Use paraprofessionals to assist technol-
              ogy teachers in providing tutorial ser-
              vices, etc. for special education
              students who are mainstreamed into regu-
              lar classroom
 
          ---------------------------------------------
 
               Table 6 lists additional solutions sug-
          gested by the association presidents.  The
          sixteen (16) responses were categorized as
          follows: Administrative Practices - 9 (56%),
          Professional Activities - 6 (38%), and Eco-
          nomic Factors - 1 (6%).
 
          TABLE 6
          ADDITIONAL SOLUTIONS REPORTED BY ASSOCIATION
          PRESIDENTS (N=16)
          ---------------------------------------------
          Administrative Practices (9)
 
          o   View technology education as vital as the
              core program
          o   Program support from the central adminis-
              tration
          o   Support leave time for professional
              events, conferences
          o   State support for student organizations
          o   Require the subject of technology educa-
              tion
          o   Teachers need to have more of an actual
              hand in decision-making
          o   Involve local business
          o   In-service support/availability for new
              technologies
          o   Include technology education in the mini-
              mum standards
 
          Professional Activities (6)
 
          o   Annual teacher recognition
          o   Increased teacher enrichment program
          o   Increased involvement with math, science
              curriculum
          o   Provision of adequate graduate courses
          o   National campaign to increase awareness
              of technology education
 
          Economic Factors (1)
 
          o   Limit income potential of private sector
              careers so they aren't so darn tempting
 
          ---------------------------------------------
 
               A review of Tables 2, 3, 5, and 6 would
          indicate that, although there is general
          agreement between the state supervisors and
          the association presidents, the presidents
          tended to indicate a higher need for in-
          creased professionalism which may be enhanced
          by administrative practices.  Similarly, the
          presidents tended to place less emphasis on
          the economic factors than did the supervi-
          sors.
               The data from this survey support the
          literature previously cited.  The causes of
          the teacher retention problem reported in
          this study are very similar to those identi-
          fied in the literature.  Similarly, the pos-
          sible solutions suggested by the respondents
          in this survey closely parallel those sol-
          utions listed in the literature.
 
                 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
               It is difficult to make broad gener-
          alizations from this study alone.  However,
          there are several common themes between
          studies reported in the literature and this
          study.  It must also be recognized that there
          are variables over which there is no control.
          Similarly, there are factors which may be too
          expensive to address realistically.
 
          CONCLUSIONS
          1.  A primary reason that technology teachers
              leave the profession is "lack of support
              by administration."  This was documented
              in numerous studies cited in the litera-
              ture review and by this study.
          2.  Salaries were consistently identified as
              a source of dissatisfaction. However, re-
              search has also indicated that perhaps
              the teachers' PERCEPTION of their salary
              compared to other professionals or groups
              may be more significant than actual sal-
              ary.  Regardless, salaries have been
              identified as a source of dissatisfac-
              tion, but not statistically related to
              the intention to quit teaching.
          3.  Other possible causes of teachers leaving
              the profession included budget re-
              strictions, lack of control over teaching
              assignments, student apathy, and lack of
              equipment and facilities.
          4.  This study identified two main areas of
              concern that may be possible solutions to
              the teacher retention problem: adminis-
              trative practice and professional activ-
              ities.  Frequently, these two are very
              closely related.
 
          RECOMMENDATIONS
               The following are specific recommen-
          dations that may have a significant effect on
          teacher satisfaction and retention:
 
          1.  A representative from ITEA should meet
              with each state's secondary school prin-
              cipal's organization (NASSP) to present
              the findings of this study.
          2.  Develop and disseminate a series of
              monographs (or idea books) that are spe-
              cifically targeted to teachers with lim-
              ited facilities and budgets.
          3.  The ITEA should continue to support leg-
              islation to increase minimum salary lev-
              els for teachers.  Salaries should be
              PERCEIVED as on a par with comparable
              professionals.
          4.  The author recommends that ITEA endorse a
              study to determine if the supply of new
              technology teachers is going to be ade-
              quate to replace those teachers leaving
              the field.  Also, are new technology pro-
              grams being planned for the middle
              grades, and if so, how many additional
              teachers will be needed.
 
 
          ----------------
          Michael D. Wright is Associate Professor and
          Chair, Department of Technology Education,
          Mankato State University, Mankato, MN.  The
          author is indebted to Dr. David Devier, Ohio
          Northern University, for chairing the ITEA
          Task Force E, conducting the survey, and
          keeping the Task Force moving forward at a
          timely rate.  The committee's full report is
          available from the ITEA Publications Depart-
          ment.
 
 
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          Permission is given to copy any
          article or graphic provided credit is given and
          the copies are not intended for sale.
 
Journal of Technology Education   Volume 3, Number 1       Fall 1991

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