Greenhaw, L. L., Brashears, M. T., Burris, S., Meyers, C., & Morrison, C. C. (2017). Preliminary development of an attrition risk assessment instrument for secondary agricultural educators. Journal of Agricultural Education, 58(2), 83-97.


Secondary agricultural education has consistently faced a shortage of teachers for the past several decades. Because there are not enough newly qualified teachers certified annually to fill all the vacancies, attrition must be addressed. The purpose of this research was to develop and pilot test an attrition risk assessment instrument. Items were written and included in a preliminary instrument based on existing literature as well as a qualitative study we conducted previously. Principal components analysis resulted in a 25-question instrument, with 17 questions measuring attrition risk in four constructs including alternative career opportunities, expectations versus realities, passions, and people frustrations. Cronbach’s alpha indicated overall instrument reliability was α = .76. Individual construct reliabilities ranged from α = .57 to α = .85. Recommendations include further development and refinement of constructs and questions. Additionally, longitudinal data should be collected in order to identify the threshold magnitude of each risk factor that results in actual exit of a teacher from the profession. Finally, implementation of the instrument could assist researchers and teacher educators in identifying the most prevalent risks contributing to teacher attrition in a population. 


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