Understanding Why Math and Science Teachers Quit: Evidence of Cognitive Errors

David W. Denton, Nalline S. Baliram, Lara Cole
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Every year school districts must fill tens of thousands of teacher vacancies in mathematics and science. Reasons for the high rate of attrition are described in general terms, such as lack of administrative support and dissatisfaction. Analysis of direct quotes from qualitative research, however, suggests the presence of cognitive errors within the decision-making process of those teachers who quit. Cognitive errors include all or nothing thinking and fortune telling, among others. Results of this study are interpreted in comparison to the attrition literature. Suggestions for future research, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy training for preservice teachers, are presented.


Mathematics, Science, Teacher attrition, Cognitive errors

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Denton, D. W., Baliram, N. S., & Cole, L. (2021). Understanding why math and science teachers quit: Evidence of cognitive errors. International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science, and Technology (IJEMST), 9(2), 163-180. https://doi.org/10.46328/ijemst.1166

DOI: https://doi.org/10.46328/ijemst.1166


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International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology (IJEMST) 
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Editors: Ismail Sahin & Mack Shelley

Place of Publication: Turkey & Name of Publisher: Ismail Sahin

ISSN: 2147-611X (Online)

International Society for Technology, Education and Science (ISTES)