Source: European Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 33, No. 2, May 2010, 185–200.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
The purpose of this study was to examine the concept of motivation to become a teacher by:
(i) focusing on the distinction between adaptive motives, which promote lasting and effective engagement, and maladaptive motives, which promote superficial engagement.;
(ii) examining relationships with teacher self-efficacy and the quality of the teacher training program; and (iii) focusing on the intention to remain in the profession.
The study addressed to the following three questions:
(1) How are pre-service teachers’ background characteristics related to the motivation to become a teacher?
(2) What are the relationships between the motivation to become a teacher, the quality of the teacher training program and classroom teaching experiences during the traineeship?
(3) Is motivation to become a teacher related to the intention to remain in the profession through a teacher’s self-efficacy, the quality of the teacher training program and early teaching experiences?
A total of 198 pre-service teachers from six university-based teacher training institutes at the Netherlands completed the questionnaire.
The pre-service teachers’ mean age was 29 and 60% of the respondents were female.
The analyses indicated that female pre-service teachers more often mentioned intrinsic adaptive motives. Furthermore, pre-service teachers with higher prior ability also showed more intrinsic adaptive motives. Intrinsic adaptive motives were positively related to the quality of the teacher training program and the classroom teaching experiences.
Pre-service teachers with positive teaching experiences indicated greater teacher self-efficacy.
The analyses also pointed to a negative relationship between extrinsic maladaptive motives and teacher self-efficacy. A positive perception of the quality of the teacher training program was related to positive teaching experiences.
This study showed that intrinsic motives were positively related to pre-service teachers’ perceptions of the quality of the teacher training programme and positive teaching experiences. Furthermore, positive perceptions of quality and positive teaching experiences during the traineeships were positively related to the decision to remain in the profession. Extrinsic maladaptive motives, in contrast, were indicative of more negative experiences during the traineeship and of less time expected to be spent in the profession
Overall, there are some important messages for policy-makers and teachers. The results indicate the importance of intrinsic motives to become a teacher.
The study also suggested the importance of the distinction between intrinsic adaptive and extrinsic maladaptive motives.