10 SES 14 A, Teacher Motivations and Careers
Second career teachers (SCT) are no longer a marginal phenomenon, but a growing group of teachers worldwide. As a result, SCTs’ career longevity takes on greater significance and with it their motivational orientations and career aspirations, as they are predictive of teachers’ well-being, commitment and retention (Richardson & Watt, 2010). So far however, systematic findings in this regard have been scarce and difficult to compare, as SCTs are no homogeneous group with regard to former education and career, as well as to the duration and quality of their training as teachers. Thus, the aim of this paper is to investigate (1) possible group differences between prospective first career teachers’ (FCT) and SCTs’ career choice motives and career goals at the beginning of teacher training, and (2) for SCT, to examine the role of former occupational status. These questions are examined in a sample of 318 beginning students (193 FCT; 125 SCT) at the Institute for Pre-Primary and Primary Education, Berne University of Teacher Education, Switzerland. All SCT students entered a regular teacher training programme. To investigate career choice motives, we used the Fit-Choice scales (Watt & Richardson, 2007), and the career goals based on the PaLea study (Kauper et al., 2012). The status of the previous occupation was classified according to ISCO and then assigned to the ISEI (Ganzeboom, De Graaf, & Treiman, 1992). On this basis, the sample was divided into a status gain and a status loss group, relative to the occupational status of Swiss primary school teachers. For both FCT and SCT students, working with and shaping the future of children/adolescents and making a social contribution are the most important reasons for choosing teaching as a career. Intrinsic career value (e.g., I always wanted to become a teacher) and perceived teaching ability are more important motives for FCT than for SCT students. SCT students are more likely to consider taking on a function within the school system, while FCT students are more interested in staying primary school teachers. Status of previous occupation had no significant effect on career choice motives and career goals. The results will be discussed in terms of their relevance for teacher education policy and practice.
Ganzeboom, H. B. H., De Graaf, P. M., & Treiman, D. J. (1992). A Standard International Socio-Economic Index of Occupational Status. Social Science Research, 21(1), 1-56. Kauper, T., Retelsdorf, J., Bauer, J., Rösler, L., Möller, J., Prenzel, M., & Drechsel, B. (2012). PaLea _ Panel zum Lehramtsstudium. Skalendokumentation und Häufigkeitsauszählungen des BMBF-Projektes. 1. Welle; Herbst 2009. Retrieved from http://www.palea.uni-kiel.de/veroffentlichungen/downloads/ Richardson, P. W., & Watt, H. M. G. (2010). Current and future directions in teacher motivation research The Decade Ahead: Applications and Contexts of Motivation and Achievement (Vol. 16 (B), pp. 139-173). Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing. 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.
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