Moser, E. and McKim, A. (2020). Teacher retention: A relational perspective. Journal of Agricultural Education, 61(2), 263-275. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2020.02263
The sustained shortage of school-based agricultural educators necessitates novel research into variables impacting teacher career commitment. In the current study, a previously unexplored variable in the prediction of career commitment within school-based agricultural education was considered, teacher connectivity. Four elements of teacher connectivity (i.e., within school, other SBAE teachers, curricular, and community) were analyzed in relation to career commitment among a national sample of school-based agricultural educators. Findings revealed teachers perceived the highest levels of connectivity to their curriculum and other SBAE teachers with the lowest levels of connectivity being with other content area teachers and administrators in their own school. Using multiple linear regression, the four elements of connectivity predicted 12% of the variance in career commitment. School connectivity and SBAE teacher connectivity were identified as statistically significant, positive predictors of career commitment. Findings are discussed using the Relational Theory of Working with recommendations emerging for structuring teacher onboarding programs, increasing teacher mentoring efforts, and empowering teachers to engage in interdisciplinary lesson planning. Further, authors provide recommendations for continued scholarship exploring teacher connectivity and career commitment within school-based agricultural education.