Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

William Morris


Teacher attrition is most prevalent among novice teachers and occurs largely as a result of poor job satisfaction. Content-specific mentoring interventions demonstrate effectiveness in combating novice teacher attrition, but are inaccessible by visual and performing arts teachers due to their status as one-person departments within school buildings. This mixed methods action research implemented virtual delivery of content-specific mentoring for novice arts teachers to mitigate geographic isolation throughout the state of Delaware. Research questions assessed (1) the intervention’s impact on attrition intentions, (2) the intervention’s impact on job satisfaction, and (3) perceptions of mentoring by novice and experienced arts teacher participants.

The intervention paired first- and second-year novice arts teachers from throughout Delaware with individual mentors matched by grade levels and content area, utilizing instructional technology to deliver content-specific mentoring in a virtual format. Participants (n = 47) included novice and mentor teachers who engaged in the intervention, along with prospective mentor teachers. Quantitative and qualitative data on job satisfaction, plans for attrition, and mentoring perceptions were collected concurrently through a Likert-style survey and individual semi-structured participant interviews.

Quantitative data were analyzed for descriptive statistics and indicated generally positive job satisfaction, moderately low likelihood of attrition, and positive perceptions of the intervention by all participant groups. Inductive analysis of qualitative data revealed major themes related to a widespread need for arts-specific teacher networking and collegial support, the development of a unique arts teacher identity contributing to professional isolation, a perception of content-specific mentoring as mutually beneficial for mentors and mentees, and positive attitudes toward a virtual delivery model. The study findings guide recommendations that Delaware should adopt a content-specific model for novice teacher mentoring using a hybrid delivery system and provide increased opportunities for leadership, networking, and content-related professional development for arts teachers as a method of improving job satisfaction to mitigate attrition.


© 2022, Rachel M. Hoke