Research: Turnover approaches zero when teachers are given influence in the school

August 23, 2010 •

Research shows that as teachers are given greater control over their work, job satisfaction increases. See this stunning graphic on the effects of teacher control on turnover, by Richard Ingersoll of the University of Pennsylvania:

See a full sized version of the graph here.

In his 2003 book Who Controls Teachers’ Work?, Ingersoll found that as teachers are given greater control over their work voluntary turnover goes from 50 percent to near zero.

Ingersoll’s research showed that where teacher involvement in decision-making was low, turnover was high. But where the involvement of teachers in school decision-making was high, turnover tended to be low. The school culture improved, and job satisfaction rose.

As policy makers and school leaders grapple with how to decrease 50 percent attrition by teachers in their first five years, this powerful notion of teacher-control may be a key both to attracting and retaining top talent.