Stemming the Revolving Door: Teacher Retention and Attrition in Arctic Alaska Schools


  • Ute Kaden University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Philip P. Patterson University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Joanne Healy University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Barbara L. Adams University of Alaska Fairbanks


Teacher Retention, Teacher Attrition, Turnover, Rural Education, Arctic Alaska, Alaskan Artic Native Communities


Limited research is available concerning teacher retention and teacher attrition in Arctic Alaska.  This paper reports survey research findings, which identify factors related to teacher retention and attrition in Alaskan Arctic Native communities. Teacher retention rates (2009-2013) vary widely over time showing no significant trends. Results confirm that teacher turnover in rural districts is higher than in urban school districts. The authors recognize that teacher retention and attrition are multidimensional issues recommending that better communication patterns and shared responsibilities between rural school districts, local administrators, teachers, community members, and university-based teacher preparation programs be established.

Author Biographies

Ute Kaden, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Assistant Professor, Secondary Education

Philip P. Patterson, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Associate Professor, Special Education

Joanne Healy, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Assistant Professor, Special Education

Barbara L. Adams, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Assistant Professor, School of Education