Why do they want to teach? The multiple reasons of different groups of students for undertaking teacher education
Faculty of Social Sciences. Instructional and Educational Sciences
European journal of psychology of education. - Lisboa
, p. 1007-1022
University of Antwerp
In times of teacher shortage, well-considered, goal-oriented teacher recruitment is important. An understanding of the reasons why different groups of students undertake teacher training would be useful in developing targeted campaigns. Against this background, the research question is as follows: what are the motivations prompting students to enter primary teacher training and do these motivations vary according to student characteristics? A questionnaire based on the reasons and expectations included in the Learning and Studying Questionnaire was administered during a compulsory course. Participants were 1,805 pre-service primary education teachers starting their first year of study at 14 different schools in Flanders (Belgium). Results show that students mainly undertake teacher training for intrinsic and altruistic reasons such as developing skills and knowledge that will be useful in their future teaching career, attending interesting and well-taught courses, gaining an understanding of the subject and helping children and making a difference in the world. In addition, students also take into account extrinsic factors such as good working conditions, long holidays and the ability to balance work and family responsibilities. Significant differences in motivation were found to be related to student characteristics such as gender, age, educational background and self-reported academic achievement, suggesting that teacher recruitment could benefit from population-specific approaches aimed at increasing the attractiveness of teaching and teacher training.