Educator Perspectives on Teacher Attrition and Retention in Private Early Childhood Schools in India

Main Article Content

Swathi Sandesh Menon
Donna Moucha Brackin


Teacher attrition is a challenge in many countries. This qualitative case study explored the perspectives of teachers and school leaders in India regarding how teacher attrition in private early childhood schools influences the students, teachers, parents, school leaders, and schools and the factors that stakeholders identify as important to retain teachers. Themes related to compensation for increased workloads, positive workplace relationships, schedule flexibility, teaching autonomy and rewards/recognition for work. Sharing these experiences and suggestions of educators on teacher attrition can help education leaders possibly lessen teacher attrition and retention in India.

Teacher attrition, teacher retention, early childhood education, India.

Article Details

How to Cite
Menon, S. S., & Brackin, D. M. (2021). Educator Perspectives on Teacher Attrition and Retention in Private Early Childhood Schools in India. Asian Journal of Advanced Research and Reports, 15(2), 13-25.
Original Research Article


Atterberry A, Loeb S, Wyckoff J. Teacher churning: Reassignment rates and implica tions for student achievement. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. 2017;39(1):3-30.

Long S, Mc Kenzie-Robblee S, Schaefer L, Steeves P, Wnuk S, Pinnegar E, Clandinin DJ. Literature review on induction and mentoring related to early career teacher attrition and retention. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in learning. 2012;20 (1):7-26.

Miller R, Chait R. Teacher turnover, tenure policies and the distribution of teacher quality: Can high-poverty schools catch a break; 2008.

Egu H, Nwuju O, Chinoye N. Teacher attrition in Nigerian schools: A case for the UBE. Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies. 2011;2(2):108-112.

UNESCO. Teacher and educational quality: Monitoring global needs for 2015. Montreal, Canada: UNESCO Institute for Statistics; 2006.

Carver-Thomas D, Darling-Hammond L. The trouble with teacher turnover: How teacher attrition affects students and schools. Education Policy Analysis Archi ves. 2019;27(36).
Available: T

Rinke CR, Mawhinney L. Insights from teacher leavers: Push and pull in career development. Teaching Education. 2017; 28(4):360-376.
DOI: 10.1080/10476210.2017.1306047

Newberry M, Allsop Y. Teacher attrition in the USA: The relational elements in a Utah case study. Teachers and Teaching. 2017; 23(8):863-880.

Gallant A, Riley P. Early career teacher attrition in Australia: Inconvenient truths about new public management. Teachers and Teaching; 2017.

Buchanan J, Prescott A, Schuck S, Aubusson P, Burke P, Louviere J. Teacher retention and attrition: Views of early career teachers. Australian Journal of Teacher Education. 2013;38(3).

Lynch M. Recruiting, retaining and fairly compensating our teachers. International Journal of Progressive Education. 2012;8 (2):121-135.

Elyashiv RA. School and district leaders talk about teacher attrition. Journal of Curriculum and Teaching. 2019;8(3):160–170.

Bronfenbrenner U. The ecology of human development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; 1979.

Ettekal A, Mahoney J. Ecological systems theory. In K. Peppler (Ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Out-of-School Learning. SAGE Publications; 2017.

Jenkins S. Social identity (4th ed.). London, England: Routledge; 2014.

Bronfenbrenner, U. Ecological systems theory. In R. Vasta (Ed.), Six theories of child development: Revised formulations and current issues London, England: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. 1992;187-249.

Carver-Thomas D, Darling-Hammond L. Teacher turnover: Why it matters and what we can do about it. Palo Alto, CA: Learning Policy Institute; 2017.

Lindqvist P, Nordänger UK, Carlsson R. Teacher attrition the first five years – A multifaceted image. Teaching and Teacher Education. 2014;40:94-103.

Ponder K, Beaty G. Teacher turnover in child care hurts everyone. Carolina Patent; 2009.

Cumming T, Sumsion J, Wong S. Rethinking early childhood workforce sus tainability in the context of Australia's early childhood education and care reforms. International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy. 2015;9(1):1.

Ingersoll R, Merrill L, May H. What are the effects of teacher education and preparation on beginning teacher attrition? (Research Report RR-82). Philadelphia, PA: Consortium for Policy Research in Edu cation, University of Pennsylvania; 2014.

Levine A. Educating school teachers. New York: The Education Schools Project; 2006.

Towers E, Maguire M. Leaving or staying in teaching: A ‘vignette’ of an experienced urban teacher ‘leaver’ of a London primary school. Teachers and Teaching; 2017.

Dee T, Goldhaber D. Understanding and addressing teacher shortages in the United States; 2017.
Retrieved: 24 August 2020,

Brok P, Wubbels T, Tartwijk J. Exploring beginning teachers attrition in the Netherlands. Teachers and teaching: Theory and practice. 2017;23(8):881–895.

Cowan J, Goldhaber D, Hayes K, Theobald R. Missing elements in the discussion of teacher shortages. Educa tional Researcher. 2016;45(8):460.

Organisation for economic co-operation and development (OECD). Encouraging quality in early childhood education and care (ECEC), Paris, France: OECD; 2012.

European Union. Study on policy measures to improve the attractiveness of the teaching profession in Europe, Luxem bourg. 2013;1.

Geiger T, Pivovarova M. The effects of working conditions on teacher retention. Teachers & Teaching. 2018;24(6):604-625.

Yinon H, Orland-Barak L. Career stories of Israeli teachers who left teaching: A salutogenic view of teacher attrition. Teachers & Teaching. 2017;23(8):914-927.
DOI: 10.1080/13540602.2017.1361398

Hong JY. Pre-service and beginning teachers’ professional identity and its relation to dropping out of the profession. Teaching and Teacher Education. 2010; 26:1530-1543.

Ewing R, Manuel J. Retaining early career teachers in the profession: New teacher narratives. Change: Transformation educa tion. 2005;8:1-16.

Milburn C. More teachers, but fewer staying the course. Sydney Morning Herald; 2011.
Available: but-fewer-staying- the-course-20110304-1bhuv.html

Espinoza J. Four in ten new teachers quit in first year, union warns. The telegraph online; 2015.
Available: 11505837/Four-in-10-new-teachers-quit-within-a-year-union-warns.html

McInerney DM, Ganotice FA, King RB, Marsh HW, Morin AJS. Exploring commitment and turnover intentions among teachers: What we can learn from Hong Kong teachers. Teaching and Teacher Education. 2015;52:11-23.

Kingdon GG. The progress of school education in India. Oxford Review of Economic Policy. 2007;23(2):168-195.

World Bank. India: Do kids in private schools learn more? Washington, DC: World Bank; 2016.

Chandra R, Gulati R, Sharma A. Quality early childhood care and education in India: Initiatives, practice, challenges and enablers. Asia Pacific Journal of Research In Early Childhood Education. 2017;11 (1):41-67.

Price D, Mc Callum F. Ecological influences on teachers' well-being and "fitness." Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education. 2015;43(3):195.

Banks F, Dheram P. India: Committing to change. In B. Moon (Ed.), Teacher education and the challenge of develop ment: A global analysis. London, England: Routledge. 2013;76-90.

Weinstein L. The durable slum: Dharavi and the right to stay put in globalizing Mumbai. Minneapolis: University of Minne sota Press; 2014.

Creswell W. Research design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approa ches (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications; 2014.

Creswell J. Data collection. In Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches (2nd ed.). Thou sand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. 2007;117-145

Baxter P, Jack S. Qualitative case study methodology: Study design and implementation for novice research ers. Qualitative Report. 2008;13(4):544-559.

Hatch A. Doing qualitative research in edu cation settings. Albany: State University of New York Press; 2002.

Dworkin SL. Sample size policy for qualitative studies using in-depth inter views. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 2012;41(6):1319-1320.
DOI: doi:10.1007/s10508-012-0016-6

Houghton C, Murphy K, Shaw D, Casey D. Qualitative case study data analysis: An example from practice. Nurse Researcher. 2015;22(5):8-12.

Braun V, Clarke V. Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology. 2006;3:77-101.

Turner DW. Qualitative interview design: A practical guide for novice investigators. Qualitative Report. 2010;15(3):754-760.

Latifoglu A. Staying or leaving? An analysis of career trajectories of beginning teachers. International Studies in Educa tional Administration (Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration & Management (CCEAM). 2016;44(1):55-70.

Glennie EJ, Mason M, Edmunds JA. Retention and satisfaction of novice teachers: Lessons from a school reform model. Journal of Education and Training Studies. 2016;4(4):244-258.

Wushishi AA, Fooi FS, Basri R, Baki R. A qualitative study on the effects of teacher attrition. International Journal of Education and Literacy Studies. 2014;2(1):11-16.

Weiqi C. The structure of secondary school teacher job satisfaction and its relationship with attrition and work enthusiasm. Chinese Education and Society. 2007;40 (5):17-31.
DOI: 10.2753/CED1061-1932400503

Ndoye A, Imig SR, Parker MA. Empowerment, leadership and teachers' inten tions to stay in or leave the profession or their schools in North Carolina charter schools. Journal of School Choice. 2010;4(2):174-190.

Ladd HF. Teachers’ perceptions of their working conditions: How predictive of planned and actual teacher move ment? Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. 2011;33:235–261.

Carrasqueira, Karina, Koslinski, Mariane Campelo. Associated factors to teacher mobility in the municipality of Rio De Janeiro. Cadernos de Pesquisa Epub. 2019;49(173):106-130.

Anand G, Mc Kenney S. Professional development needs: Early childhood teachers in public child care centres. Staff and Educational Development Internatio nal. 2015;19(2/3):85-104.

Erss M, Kalmus V, Autio TH. Walking a fine line”: Teachers’ perception of curricular autonomy in Estonia, Finland and Germany. Journal of Curriculum Stu dies. 2016;48(5):589-609.

Cooper Gibson Research. Factors affect ting teacher retention: Qualitative investigation; 2018.

Available: hment_data/file/686947/Factors_affecting_teacher_retention_- _qualitative_investigation.pdf

Boyd D, Grossman P, Ing M, Lankford H, Loeb S, Wyckoff J. The influence of school administrators on teacher retention decisi ons. American Educational Research Journal. 2011;48(2):303-333.

Gupta A. Policy trends in teacher professionalization and professionalism in India. In M. Li, J. Fox, & S. Grieshaber S. (Eds.), Contemporary issues and challenges in early childhood education in the Asia-Pacific region, Singapore: Springer. 2017;221-239.

Ilies R, Huth M, Ryan AM, Dimotakis N. Explaining the links between workload, distress and work–family conflict among school employees: Physical, cognitive and emotional fatigue. Journal of Educational Psychology. 2015;107(4):1136-1149.

Sharma R. Teachers on the move: International migration of school teachers from India. Journal of Studies in Inter national Education. 2013;17(3):262-283.