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Persistent rural educators: An extensive literature review of factors which influence rural teacher retention

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posted on 2022-06-28, 20:40 authored by Alexandra MartinAlexandra Martin

Student achievement is impacted by having a quality teacher more than any other factor (Terada, 2019). Students deserve to have qualified and highly-effective teachers no matter where they live—however, rural schools tend to employ less-qualified educators than do urban and suburban schools (Monk, 2007). Rates of teacher attrition, which also impact student achievement (Ronfeldt et al., 2013), are not equal across the country, and rural schools are one of several areas experiencing the greatest amount of teacher turnover, exacerbating the problem (Ingersoll et al., 2021). Using teacher turnover (Nguyen & Springer, 2021) and a critical pedagogy of place (Gruenewald, 2003) as theoretical frameworks, this literature review sought to understand current factors which influence rural teacher retention. The research found that School, Personal, and Place-based Correlates have a great impact on rural teacher retention, and that understanding the unique benefits and challenges of each rural place is vital. By understanding which factors lead to increased rural teacher persistence and knowing which specific structures might better support rural educators, teacher educators will be able to prepare and retain high-quality rural educators, providing more equitable education for students in rural schools. 



Welsh, Kate Muir

Committee members

Crane, Nicholas; Rush, Leslie; Cook, Leslie


  • Master's

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  • Natural Science - NASC