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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Courses of Action: A Report on Urban Teacher Career Development.


This paper presents findings from a study investigating relationships among the reasons for entry, preparation experiences, workplace conditions, and future career plans of fifteen UCLA Teacher Education Program graduates working in urban elementary schools in Los Angeles. More specifically, the analysis examines why these early career teachers stay in or consider leaving the urban schools in which they are teaching. The findings highlight the need to reconceptualize notions of teacher retention in order to better acknowledge and support the development of deep, varied, successful careers in the field of urban education. The data suggest that these urban teachers will remain in urban education if they can adopt multiple education roles inside and outside the classroom, and receive professional support during the whole of their professional careers not just the beginnings of their teaching.

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