Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Jacqueline McDonnough


The purpose of this research, based on Tönnies’s theory of Gemeinschaft and Durkheim’s theory of mechanical solidarity, was to determine if there were differences between rural Virginia teachers from rural areas and those from nonrural areas in their perceptions of salary, isolation, working conditions, NCLB requirements, and job satisfaction, as well as their plans to remain in rural schools. It also was to determine if there was a relationship between rural and nonrural backgrounds and the rural teachers’ intentions to remain employed in rural schools. Rural teachers from each of Virginia’s eight Superintendents’ Regions were selected and were asked to respond to an on-line survey. Their responses were collected and the data were analyzed using SPSS. The findings of this research showed that perceptions of isolation and working conditions were significant predictors of teachers’ plans to remain in rural schools. Although the findings of this research did not show rural origin to be significant, the concept of community that is inherent in ruralness was indicated by the significance of the relationship between feeling membership in the community and plans to remain in a rural school. In addition, the findings of this research supported the development of the grow-your-own programs discussed in the literature review. This research showed that established residency in the rural area and feeling membership in the rural community significantly influenced the decision to remain in a rural school.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2010

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