Date of Award

12-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education

Major Professor

Susan L. Groenke

Committee Members

Richard L. Allington, Judson C. Laughter, Stergios G. Botzakis, William Hardwig

Abstract

Education reforms have transformed the teaching profession into a business model that uses standardized test scores as capital. Failure to deliver projected scores results in punishments for teachers and schools under increased accountability measures. In this climate, job satisfaction is low, and teachers across the nation are leaving their classrooms. However, one rural high school presents as an anomaly because there has been no turnover within the English department, where each staff member has been teaching a minimum of five years. The purpose of this study was to learn how experienced secondary English teachers are impacted by education policy reform, and to find out why they stay in the profession in the context of neoliberal education.

Through dialogic interviews with five English teachers and data analysis using the constant comparative method, it was determined that educational reforms have had a negative effect on teachers, and that teachers remain in their positions because their administrator mediates reforms and shields them from oppressive dehumanization. Additional research is needed to explore the effective practices of a principal who can mediate policy to prevent the mass exodus of teachers.

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