ERG SES E 06, International Contexts in Education
Mexico is struggling to attract students to enroll in teacher training colleges (normal schools). The state of Baja California is one of three Mexican states where almost half of the spaces offered in the normal schools have not been taken (INEE, 2015). Since 2012, a drop of 83% of applicants in the B.A. of Primary Education has been observed. This is likely because of the increase in application requirements in the normal schools (SEP, 2015), the increase in opportunities to obtain teaching credentials in other types of universities (DOF, 2013), the deteriorated social image of the profession, and the current working conditions for Mexican teachers that are not perceived as ideal. Despite the adverse conditions, there are still applicants for normal schools, so it is pertinent to identify the factors that influence their choice to become teachers.
Studies that investigated students’ motivations during their teacher training using multiple choice questionnaires were identified (Fokkens-Bruinsma y Canrinus, 2012; Thomson et al., 2012; König y Rothland, 2012; Rots et al., 2014; Tomsik, 2016; Tustiawati, 2017). The most recent instrument found is the Factors Influencing Teaching Scale (FIT-Choice) developed by Watt y Richardson (2007). The FIT-Choice has been used in more than 12 countries. For example, in Europe it has been used for comparative purposes in Turkey, Holland, England, and Germany, where teacher shortage issues have been recognized, both in teaching preparation programs and in the continuing professional development. Similarly, in Spain, the instrument has been translated into Spanish (Gratacos, 2014). This version of the instrument was adapted and used with teacher students in the Latin-American context (Pariahuache, 2015), however, no recent studies focused on the population of applicants were identified.
The FIT-Choice theoretical framework is based on some particular aspects of the Expectancy-value theory (Wigfield y Eccles, 2000), three higher order constructs: (a) expectancy/ability beliefs (self), (b) subjective task value (value), and (c) perceived task difficulty (task perceptions) (Watt y Richardson, 2007).
In this study, this theoretical framework was used to develop a new questionnaire adapted to the Mexican context and the population of applicants to normal schools. Theoretical model was adapted so the instrument captures the singularities that characterize teaching training programs in Mexico. That is, traditionally only normal schools would provide teaching training, the age range of first-year students is between 17 and 18 years old, and high school is a requirement for enrollment. These characteristics are different from educational systems where the FIT-Choice instrument has been administered.
This proposal will report the methodological procedures used in the development and validation of the Mexican instrument and will report the findings of the validation study. The purpose of the general study is to provide information to educational authorities that will allow them to improve planning and recruitment strategies, as well as counseling services for students.
This study was designed as a survey research. Participants consisted of 373 first-semester students enrolled in B.A. of Primary Education in nine normal schools in the Northwest region of Mexico, some located in rural areas. Of the total of participants, 79% are female, 95% are single, and their average age is 18.7 years old. The FIT-Choice theoretical framework was used to develop a questionnaire adapted to the Mexican context. The FIT-Choice measures 12 factors grouped in seven dimensions (i.e., social influences, task demand, task return, self-perceptions of teaching ability, intrinsic career value/personal utility value, social utility value, and fallback career) that measure influence in teaching choice. The adapted version of the FIT-Choice was developed in different phases, as suggested by Downing’s (2012) methodological approach. Phase 1 consisted of the development of the work plan. The purpose and intended use of the scale were established, an interdisciplinary group of experts in development of instruments in education, quantitative methods, and teacher training were asked to supervise the work in each phase. In Phase 2, the first draft of the instrument was developed, based on the review of the literature on motivational models and findings from qualitative data collection conducted in the fall of 2016. For this phase, three focus groups where 24 first-semester students participated and three interviews with the school heads from normal schools in Baja California were conducted. The first draft of the instrument proposed 25 factors and nine factor dimensions. Each factor had three to five 6-point Likert-type scale items. Phase 3 consisted in the face validity of the first draft of the instrument. A rubric was given to three experts (principals of normal schools) for them to evaluate the instrument based on its congruence, relevance, clarity, and sufficiency. The 25 factors, nine dimensions, and 91 variables were validated. Additionally, a talk-aloud exercise was conducted with one student to receive feedback on the instructions of the instrument, the items, and the response time. During Phase 4, suggested modifications were added to the instrument and the online version was developed in Lime Survey, taking into account international criteria on format and visualization. In Phase 5, the instrument was piloted. It was administered during the first month of classes (Fall 2017). Teachers received detailed instructions on how to administer the survey and were asked to invite students to participate in the study. All students enrolled in first semester participated.
To assess the structure of the data, preliminary analyses using Exploratory Factor Analyses and Confirmatory Factor Analyses (for first-order factors and second-order factors) on the dimensions proposed by the FIT-Choice also measured by the adapted scale (17 factors) have been conducted. Additionally, internal consistency was measured using Cronbach’s alpha. After preliminary analysis, a 13-first-factor model with 59 items was estimated. The CFA fitted the data reasonably across a range of frequently used fit indices. The chi-square test of model fit was statistically significant [X2(1632, N=373) = 4215.97, p<0.05], as well as the chi-square test of difference [X2(138, N=373) = 12322.91, p<0.05]. Other fit indices showed reasonable fit: RMSEA = 0.065, SRMR = .070, CFI = .825, and TLI = .810. Factor loadings ranged from .493 to .901, with only four below .6. Patterns of the factor correlations were analyzed and nested higher-order CFAs were conducted for each of the six dimensions. In all cases, a second-order structure fitted the data well. Based on these preliminary findings, the instrument is in the process of restructuration to continue with the larger project. The administration of the final version of the instrument will be held in March of 2018. Pertinent analyses are scheduled to be conducted the rest of the year. Once the information from the final administration of the instrument is available, the results will be contrasted to those found in the literature, both at the national and international levels. This will allow to provide insights for the implementation of institutional and public policies, that will hopefully remedy the decline in the number of aspirants to enter the teaching profession, as well as increase the number and quality of aspirants.
Downing, S. (2012). Twelve steps for the development of effective tests. En S. Downing y T. Haladyna (Coords.), Manual for the development of large-scale tests. (pp. 25-60). México: CENEVAL. Fokkens-Bruinsma, M. y Canrinus, E. (2012). Adaptive and maladaptive motives for becoming a teacher. Journal of Education for Teaching, 38 (1), 3-19. doi:10.1080/02607476.2012.643652 Gratacós, G. (2014). The motivation of future teachers. Aula Magna 2.0. Retrieved from: http://cuadespyd.hypotheses.org/461#content König, J. y Rothland, M. (2012). Motivations for choosing teaching as a career: effects on general pedagogical knowledge during initial teacher education. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 40 (3), 289-315. doi:10.1080/1359866X.2012.700045 Nacional Institute for the Evaluation of Education (2015). The teachers in Mexico. Report 2015. México: INEE. Official Journal of the Federation [DOF] (2013).General Law of Professional Teaching Service. México: DOF. Pariahuache, M. (2015). Identification of influential motivational factors in the choice of teaching career in the students of the first year of the Faculty of Educational Sciences of the University of Piura (Master's thesis). Universidad de Piura, Perú. Rots, I., Aelterman, A. y Devos, G. (2014). Teacher education graduates’choice (not) to enter the teaching profession: does teacher education matter? European Journal of Teacher Education, 37 (3), 279-294. doi: 10.1080/02619768.2013.845164 Secretary of Public Education [SEP] (2015). Specific rules of school control related to the selection, registration, re-registration, accreditation, regularization, certification and certification of the bachelor's degrees for the training of basic education teachers, in the school modality (2012 Plan). Retrieved from: http://www.dgespe.sep.gob.mx/normatividad/normas_control_escolar Thomson, M., Turner, J. y Nietfeld, J. (2012). A typological approach to investigate the teaching career decision: Motivations and beliefs about teaching of prospective teacher candidates. Teaching and Teacher Education, (28), 324-335. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2011.10.007 Tomsik, R. (2016). Choosing teaching as a career: importance of the type motivation in career choices. TEM Journal. Technology Education Management Informatics, 5 (3), 396-400. doi: 10.18421/TEM53-21 Tustiawati, I. (2017). What motivates pre-service teachers to become teachers and their perspectives of English teaching as a career option. TEFLIN Journal, 28 (1), 38-56. doi:10.15639/teflinjournal.v28il/38-56 Watt, H. y Richardson, P. (2007). Motivational factors influencing teaching as a career choice: development and validation of the FIT-choice Scale. The Journal of Experimental Education, 75 (3), 167-202. Wigfield, A. y Eccles, J. (2000). Expectancy-value theory of achievement motivation. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25, 68-81.
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