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Title: Student withdrawal and persistence in initial teacher education
Author: Roberts, Deborah Claire
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2010
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UK concerns over teacher shortages, and national and international interest in student retention contextualise this study. Addressing a dearth of evidence for undergraduate withdrawal in Initial Teacher Education (ITE), the thesis questions why students withdraw from their courses of ITE and why some consider withdrawal but persist. Located within a mixed-methods institutional case-study, quantitative survey approaches provide information about the incidence of withdrawal, persistence and the student experience amongst a population of 81 postgraduate and 490 undergraduate ITE students. Qualitative semi-structured interviews provide an in-depth understanding of the withdrawal or persistence of 29 students. A case-by-case analysis of interview data portrays the individuality and complexity of the withdrawal/persistence process; whilst a cross-sectional analysis considers factors affecting withdrawal and persistence across the 29 interviewees and .110 'persisting' questionnaire respondents. The research, drawing upon a social constructionist epistemology, accords primacy to the student perspective. Withdrawal from ITE was found to be affected by a range of factors: intra- personal, inter-personal, academic. professional, institutional and external. Antecedents of particular interest include intra-personal factors such as responses to stress, lack of confidence, and perfectionism; inter-personal factors including bullying; and aspects of teacher identity. contrasting voluntary withdrawal with persistence suggests that goal commitment and determination are strong antecedents of persistence. Other factors which seem to promote short-term continuation include: support; course-related factors; and intra-personal qualities such as coping strategies, self-efficacy and perseverance. Such factors provide a window for supportive intervention, with the hypothesis that those interventions affecting goal commitment are likely to be the most successful in promoting continuation. The study analysed evidence of an unwillingness to seek institutional support. Given that support was identified as a factor in continuation, avoidance of support is a key finding.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available