Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

Sub-Department

Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Rhonda Jeffries

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate how caring and advocating for marginalized students, along with collaboration among colleagues, contributes to teacher retention, empowerment, and job satisfaction. Goals of this research included unraveling ways in which caring teachers contribute to the self-esteem and academic success of students of poverty, particularly students of color; along with investigating how collaboration among teachers affects teacher attitudes toward the profession. This research was conducted through a case study which involved interviews of individuals, a focus group discussion, as well as detailed study of literature on the topics of teacher advocacy, job satisfaction, and empowerment. In order to delve into the rich experiences of the study participants, and given that this research concerned attitudes of educational professionals, a qualitative approach was warranted, and a case study was the most appropriate method. The study found that teachers who care about their students, who advocate for those who are marginalized, and who collaborate with colleagues, find fulfilment in their work and stay in teaching.

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