10 SES 14 A, Teacher Motivations and Careers
To raise the quality of teachers, many countries, including Israel, initiated the opening of master's in teaching (MTeach) programs targeting second career academic candidates. It was expected that recruiting mature, talented, and committed graduates would improve the quality of the teaching force (Darling-Hammond, 2016; Schleicher, 2012; Tatto et al., 2016). The current research focused on such program that started recently in Israel. It examined the motivations of the career switchers to turn into teaching, their perceptions towards the teaching profession and the essence of a "good" teacher as well as their intentions to pursue the new career. The study was a three-year follow-up research of all students (N=77) who participated in the program in its first two cycles (ages ranging from 27 to 56; 33% were males). Most students (60%) had no prior teaching experience and all held previous careers. The methodology employed was mostly a quantitative one using self-report questionnaires administered at the beginning and at the end of the program (pre-post design). The questionnaires focused on: Motivations and reasons in making teaching a career choice and the extent to which teaching fulfills these reasons (Coulthard & Kyriacou, 2002; Fokkens-Bruinsma & Canrinus, 2014; Watt & Richardson, 2007, 2008); perceptions of the teaching profession (Schon, 1983, 1987) and of a "good teacher" and intentions to purse the teaching profession. Research findings showed that altruistic motives were highly realized in teaching throughout the program. Another motive that was strongly realized in teaching at the end of the program, is the gain in power and authority. During the program, there was a slight move towards viewing teaching as a reflective practice. It seems that the reflective image develops at later stages of the teaching career. About 40% considered a "good" teacher to hold a mixture of suitable personality traits, positive human relations and professional performance. This mix indicates a balanced view usually held by more experienced teachers. Most students (92%) declared that they will try to work as teachers for a few years and 76% were confident in their career choice. The emerging profile of this group as mature, knowledgeable with a wealth of prior experiences holding intrinsic and altruistic motivation, committed to pursue teaching and viewing teaching as a humanistic endeavor rather than as a mechanistic technical profession points to the importance of recruiting this added pool of second career candidates who might eventually raise the quality of the teaching force.
Darling-Hammond, L. (2016). Research on teaching and teacher education and its influences on policy and practice. Educational Researcher, 45(2), 83-91. Fokkens-Bruinsma, M., & Canrinus, E. T. (2014). Motivation for becoming a teacher and engagement with the profession: Evidence from different contexts. International Journal of Educational Research, 65, 65-74. Schleicher, A. (2012), Ed., Preparing Teachers and Developing School Leaders for the 21st Century: Lessons from around the World, OECD Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264xxxxxx-en Schon, D. (1983). The reflective practitioner. New York, NY: Basic. Schon, D. (1987). Educating the reflective practitioner. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass. Tatto, M. T., Savage, C., Liao, W., Marshall, S. L., Goldblatt, P., & Contreras, L. M. (2016). The emergence of high-stakes accountability policies in teacher preparation: An examination of the US Department of Education’s proposed regulations. education policy analysis archives, 24, 21. Watt, H.M.G. & Richardson, P.W. (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. Watt, H.M.G., & Richardson, P.W. (2008). Motivations, perceptions and aspirations concerning teaching as a career for different types of beginning teachers. Learning and Instruction, 18, 408-428.
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