Source: European Educational Research Journal, Volume 7 Number 4, pages 523-534. 2008.
Several studies have confirmed the importance of teaching commitment for beginning teachers’ retention in the profession. However, research on the factors that enhance the teaching commitment of teacher education graduates is scarce. The purpose of this study is to identify the predicting factors that distinguish teacher education graduates with a low level from those with a high level of teaching commitment. Four categories of predicting variables were distinguished: (1) personal characteristics (sex, personality); (2) initial motivation for teaching; (3) teacher education (type of teacher training, graduation degree, preparedness for teaching, faculty support and mentor support); and (4) integration into teaching (teacher efficacy and professional orientation). The results suggest that graduates with a low level of teaching commitment can be reliably distinguished from graduates with a high level of commitment by the personality factor ‘conscientiousness’, the type of teacher training, their initial motivation for teaching, their views of their teacher education (in terms of preparation for teaching, faculty support and mentor support) and their teacher efficacy. As such, the findings of this study have important implications for teacher education since the results confirm the importance of teacher education for the teaching commitment of graduates.