This study identifies differences in perceptions between three stakeholder groups - principals, K-12 teachers, and parents - regarding the effect of workplace conditions on teacher attrition. An electronic questionnaire was sent to 15 of Utah's 41 school districts. Sampling efforts yielded completed surveys from 93 principals, 2003 teachers and 495 parents. All three groups agreed that workplace conditions are important, but the greatest disagreements occurred in perceptions of (a) teacher involvement in decision-making, (b) protection of teacher preparation time, (c) administration's management of student discipline, (d) adequacy of resource availability, (e) the degree to which a trusting and supportive school environment existed within the school, and (f) whether teachers' expectations were reasonable. Overall, principals believed that work conditions are relatively good for teachers, while many teachers disagreed with these perceptions. The study also examined factors that influence science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) university students' willingness to consider teaching as a career. A total of 4,743 university students majoring in STEM fields from Brigham Young University completed the survey (31%) and although very few of these students initially consider this profession, we identified four factors using predictive modeling that are strongly associated with these students' willingness to consider teaching and their belief that teaching might be their best career option. Results indicated that STEM university students were more likely to consider teaching when they believed teaching is something they would be good at, others encouraged them to be a teacher, when family encourages them to teach, and when teachers they know inspire them. Results from this study indicate that small salary bonuses would likely not entice students in STEM subjects to become teachers. Less impactful factors included gender and individual beliefs about the respectability of the profession. Additionally, this study found these students less likely to consider work conditions for teachers when making career choices. This study concludes with several implications that can inform and possibly improve the recruitment and leadership preparation programs at Institutes of Higher Education.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





teacher education, teacher recruitment, teacher preparation, teaching profession, teacher shortage, perceptions on the teaching profession



Included in

Education Commons