Arctic Field Projects



Project Title: Factors Related to Teacher Retention in Arctic Alaska, an Integral Part of the Circumpolar North (Award# 1203132)

PI: Kaden, Ute (ukaden@alaska.edu)
Phone: (907) 474.5721 
Institute/Department: U of Alaska, Fairbanks, School of Education 
IPY Project?
Funding Agency: US\Federal\NSF\GEO\OPP\ARC\ASSP
Program Manager: Dr. Anna Kerttula (akerttul@nsf.gov)
Discipline(s): | Social and Human Sciences\Education and teacher prep -Circumpolar North |

Project Web Site(s):
Data: http://www.iser.uaa.alaska.edu/
NSF_Award_Info: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=12...
Project: https://sites.google.com/a/alaska.edu/nsf-research...

Science Summary:
This three-year research project will conduct indepth quantitative and qualitative research on teacher retention in rural schools in Arctic Alaska. Rural Alaskan schools are populated by over 90% Alaska Native students and are in majority Alaskan Native communities. One of the key issues in these school systems, not just in Alaska but throughout the circumpolar North, is how to retain teachers. Up until now, teacher retention studies focused on the statistical analyses of how many teachers stayed in rural community schools and for how long. And although there has been research on the effects of teacher retention and student achievement, findings showing that student performance is directly connected to teacher retention, no substantive scientific research has been done that explains why retention rates are so low in Alaskan Native communities. Using an explanatory design, the study will triangulate findings by looking at multiple qualitative and quantitative indicators related to teacher retention, comparing them and using qualitative evidence to shed light on the quantitative patterns. Teachers in the region will be surveyed using electronic and interview survey methods. Attempts to contact teachers who left the district within the past 2 years will be made for purposes of semi-structured telephone interviews. Alaskan Native researchers will conduct focus group field interviews of a purposefully selected, weighted, and stratified sample of teachers, school board members, Elders, and Tribal Council members. The goals of the research project are: 1. To identify the degree of school and community integration, which influence teacher retention; 2. To identify school workplace characteristics, including recruitment practices, which influence teacher retention; 3. To identify teacher preparation practices which influence retention; 4. To identify key unknown variables for understanding teacher retention in Arctic Alaska.

Logistics Summary:
The goal of this project is to identify factors that influence retention and community integration of teachers in Arctic Alaska schools. This project will utilize a mixed methods research approach combining quantitative data and qualitative data to study teacher retention. During the next three years, starting in 2013, the PI will conduct analysis of archival data, a review of recruitment practices, a teacher survey, semi-structured telephone interviews, and field-based focus group interviews for the purposes of gathering data pertinent to the projects goals. All certified teachers who currently work for the target school districts and those who have left within the past two years as identified by the Department of Education and Early Development’s Certified Staffing Accounting Database and community stakeholders (e.g., school board members, tribal council, elders, etc.) will be surveyed. Community stakeholders will support participant selection for field-based focus groups. In 2014 a field team of 4 will travel to the various school districts with trips in January to May 2014 and August to December 2014: North Slope Borough School District, Bering Strait School District, Northwest Arctic Borough School District, Iditarod Area School District, Yukon/Koyukuk School District, Yukon Flats School District, Denali Borough School District, as well as Nenana City School District, Nome City School District, Galena City School District, and Tanana School District; to conduct teacher interviews and community focus forums and the following year to report back to communities and school districts. Similar field work will be carried out in 2015.

All logistics will be organized by the researchers and paid through the grant.
SeasonField SiteDate InDate Out#People
2014Alaska - Allakaket04 / 23 / 2014 04 / 28 / 20144
2014Alaska - Beaver04 / 30 / 2014 05 / 05 / 20144
2014Alaska - Chalkyitsik05 / 05 / 2014 05 / 07 / 20144
2014Alaska - Fort Yukon05 / 07 / 2014 05 / 09 / 20144
2014Alaska - Huslia08 / 25 / 2014 08 / 27 / 20144
2014Alaska - Kotzebue08 / 27 / 2014 09 / 03 / 20144
2014Alaska - Minto09 / 03 / 2014 09 / 05 / 20144
2014Alaska - Nome09 / 08 / 2014 09 / 10 / 20144
2014Alaska - Nulato09 / 10 / 2014 09 / 15 / 20144
2014Alaska - Point Hope09 / 15 / 2014 09 / 17 / 20144
2014Alaska - Tok09 / 17 / 2014 09 / 19 / 20144
2014Alaska - Upper Noatak River0
2014Alaska - Utqiaġvik (Barrow)04 / 28 / 2014 04 / 30 / 20144
2015Alaska - Allakaket04 / 22 / 2015 04 / 27 / 20154
2015Alaska - Anaktuvuk Pass04 / 15 / 2015 04 / 20 / 20154
2015Alaska - Anderson05 / 13 / 2015 05 / 18 / 20154
2015Alaska - Fort Yukon04 / 27 / 2015 04 / 29 / 20154
2015Alaska - Kivalina05 / 06 / 2015 05 / 11 / 20154
2015Alaska - Manley Hot Springs05 / 20 / 2015 05 / 22 / 20154
2015Alaska - Minto04 / 20 / 2015 04 / 22 / 20154
2015Alaska - Ruby04 / 29 / 2015 05 / 04 / 20154
2015Alaska - Utqiaġvik (Barrow)05 / 11 / 2015 05 / 13 / 20154
2015Alaska - Venetie05 / 18 / 2015 05 / 20 / 20154
 


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Parameters used to generate this report:, Grant# = "1203132", IPY = "ALL" 
     Number of projects returned based on your query parameters = 1
 
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