Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Dr. Peggy Wozniak
Dr. Keith Larick
Dr. Jacqueline Hodges
Purpose: The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to examine, identify, and describe the perceived impact of the self-determination attributes of autonomy, competence, and relatedness on the persistence and retention of California licensed home-based early childhood educators who attended higher education degree programs.
Methodology: This study utilized a concurrent triangulation mixed-methods approach to gain an understanding of the impact of self-determination on California licensed home-based early childhood educators’ persistence and retention in college. Three hundred members of the San Diego County Family Child Care Association and/or the California Family Child Care Network were invited to participate in this study. Quantitative data were collected from 37 home-based early childhood educators who volunteered to complete an online survey. The qualitative data were obtained from seven home-based early childhood educators via semi-structured interviews.
Findings: The findings from this study revealed early childhood educators who attended college had high levels of self-determination attributes of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Additionally, the investigation revealed home-based educators with high levels of self-determination were intrinsically motivated, committed, and intentional about completing their college degree. Finally, these findings showed early childhood educators with self-determination were resolved to stay in college and persist until degree attainment.
Conclusions: Based on the findings from this study and the literature review, it was concluded self-determination attributes of autonomy, competence, and relatedness impacted persistence and retention of home-based educators who attended college. Also, it was found self-determined early childhood educators were committed, intentional, intrinsically motivated, and engaged, which aided in persistence and retention in higher education until degree attainment.
Recommendations: Further research is recommended to examine the motivating factors that impact early childhood educators’ engagement and continuation in higher education at various degree levels and with diverse populations. Additionally, it is recommended to replicate this study comparing self-determination with other factors such as grit, student engagement, and entrepreneurship.
Collins, Shirley, "An Examination of California Home-based Early Childhood Educators’ Self-Determination to Attain a Higher Education Degree" (2018). Dissertations. 195.