In recent years, there have been programs aimed at increasing the number of science and math teachers in high‐need areas by offering scholarships to candidates in exchange for their agreement to teach in a high‐need school for a period of time. However, there has been concern that recipients might fulfill the terms of their agreement, then leave for other jobs. This qualitative study of four science and math teachers who received Noyce scholarships examines whether commitment is stable or variable over time, and the impact of structural factors and supports on commitment, professional identity, and retention. Results suggest that while some aspects of commitment demonstrate stability, other aspects may change due to factors including the types of professional identities that are prioritized by teachers, and recognition and support of these identities in work settings. In this study, the teachers who emphasized student‐ and pedagogical‐centered identities, rather than subject‐centered identities, were more likely to stay in their positions, provided that these identities were supported through school structures and positive interactions with colleagues, supervisors, and students. Results suggest that scholarship programs may be useful not only for supporting teachers who have already expressed commitment to science and math teaching in high‐need schools, but also for encouraging new commitments.
Saint Joseph’s University, Franklin Towne Charter High School
Noyce Award Number1439417
Olitsky, S., Perfetti, A, & Coughlin, A. (2019). Filling positions or forging new pathways? Scholarship incentives, commitment, and retention of STEM teachers in high-need schools. Science Education. https://doi.org/10.1002/sce.21552