Walking the walk: Teacher candidates' professed commitment to urban teaching and their subsequent career decisions

Erica Frankenberg, Amanda Taylor, Katherine Merseth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study is a longitudinal analysis of the early career decisions made by graduates of an urban-focused secondary teacher preparation program. By matching graduates' self-reported commitment to teaching in urban schools at the end of the training program to the demographic data of the schools where they subsequently teach, the authors explore the relationship between preservice teacher attitudes about urban schools and their actual career decisions by tracking the urbanicity and student characteristics of graduates' schools. The authors find that most graduates attain teaching jobs in urban schools, and higher percentages of graduates who exit the program more committed to teaching in urban schools take jobs in urban schools with higher percentages of students of color and low-income students. The vast majority of graduates remain in urban schools, but those graduates who transfer to work in less urban and/or schools with fewer students of color or teachers who leave the field altogether are those who reported lower urban commitment. Understanding how professed commitments to teaching in urban schools at the end of a teacher education program are associated with the subsequent career decisions of graduates represents an important step in understanding why some individuals elect to teach and remain in urban schools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-346
Number of pages35
JournalUrban Education
Volume45
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Urban Studies

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