Retention in Special Education: Reducing Attrition through Supportive Administrative Interventions

By Jason Bozonelos.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Despite attempts to increase teacher retention in special education, there currently exists a shortage of special educators (SPeNSE, n.d.). Attrition in special education is on the rise due to a variety of factors including job design, limited resources, inadequate colleague support, overwhelming clerical tasks, lack of professional development opportunities and exorbitant/diverse caseloads (Gersten, Keating, Yovanoff and Harniss, 2001). After careful analysis of existing data, a connection between administrative support and factors leading to attrition can be formulated (Littrell, P.C., and Billingsley, B.S., 1994). Administrators can increase retention by offering support in the following four categories defined by House, J.L. (1981): emotional support, instrumental support, informational support and appraisal support.
The presenter will address the following questions based on research reviewed:
- What factors are associated with attrition in special education?
- How do administrative and other supports impact attrition in special education?
- Based on the research reviewed, what intervention strategies can administrators use in order to increase special educator retention rates?
By attending this presentation, participants will:
1. Identify and define key factors of attrition in special education.
2. Make connections between these key factors and administrative support.
3. Examine ways administrators can use intervention support strategies in order to increase special educator retention.

Keywords: Special Education, Teacher Retention, Administrative Support

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp.149-158. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 595.770KB).

Jason Bozonelos

Special Educator, Jones College Prep High School, University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Jason T. Bozonelos, MA; Special Education, is currently a special educator and art educator at Jones College Prep High School. He is pursuing a PhD in Special Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Additionally, Mr Bozonelos has been an art educator for Chicago Public Schools at Dett Elementary and a teacher of students with severe and profound disabilities at Orozco Academy in Pilsen. He has also worked as a coordinator of the teen volunteer program at The Field Museum of Natural History. He previously presented his Special Educator’s Guide to the Field Museum’s Underground Adventure at Northeastern Illinois University’s Student Research and Creative Activities Symposium.


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