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K-State Today

April 7, 2020

Education professor publishes article about teacher shortages in Kansas

Submitted by Bradley Galka

Tuan Nguyen, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, recently published "Teacher Attrition and Retention in Kansas: A Case Study of Geographically Rural States with Persistent Teacher Shortages" in the Online Journal of Rural Research and Policy.

Nguyen's study examines teacher shortages and mobility patterns in Kansas and compares them with patterns in other midwestern American states. Nguyen also analyses the kinds of characteristics that contribute to teacher attrition rates in Kansas and in rural schools in particular.

According to the article, rural schools face an endemic issue attracting and retaining teachers, many of whom are drawn to the greater opportunities and lifestyle comforts of urban areas. Teacher shortages have a direct and detrimental effect on student learning outcomes, and their effects reach far beyond the classroom. As Nguyen writes, "retaining high-quality teachers is critically important for student achievement and the long-term health of the education pipeline and workforce in rural communities." Nguyen, therefore, seeks to help professionals understand why teachers leave rural communities — and often leave teaching entirely — so as to help craft policies that will better address this important issue.

This article may be freely accessed on the Online Journal of Rural Research and Policy's website. The journal is a multidisciplinary research journal based at Kansas State University and is published under the direction of managing editor Bonnie Lynn-Sherow of the Chapman Center for Rural Studies.