School of Education
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Deanna L. Keith
Detroit, Education, Retention, Teacher, Urban
Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology | Other Education
Holtzhouse, Melissa, "The Aftermath of Detroit's Economic Decline and the Exodus of Urban Teachers: A Phenomenology" (2017). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 1541.
The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand the decision-making process of teachers, Kindergarten through twelfth grade, who left the urban setting in metropolitan Detroit. The theories that guided this study were Rotter’s locus of control and Condorcet’s decision theory as they investigated the experiences leading to teachers’ decisions to leave the urban setting within metropolitan Detroit. Four research questions were included (a) How do select teachers, Kindergarten through twelfth grade, describe the decision-making process they underwent before leaving urban education in metropolitan Detroit? (b) How do participants describe their experiences prior to their decision to leave urban education in metropolitan Detroit? (c) What factors do participants identify as contributing to their decisions to leave the urban education setting in metropolitan Detroit? (d) What do participants think about their decision since leaving urban education in metropolitan Detroit? Purposeful sampling was used to gain 10 teachers for this study. The participants taught in predominantly urban schools in metropolitan Detroit and left the field since 2009, the year three major car companies restructured and Detroit’s economy took a turn for the worse. A triangulation method of (a) a focus group, (b) interviews and (c) member-checks were used. Data was coded and analyzed for themes. Results indicated three primary reasons for teachers’ decisions to leave the urban setting within metropolitan Detroit (a) professional, (b) cultural and (c) political.