Motivations for Choosing Teaching as a Career: Effects on General Pedagogical Knowledge during Initial Teacher Education

Aug. 01, 2012

Source: Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 40, No. 3, August 2012, p. 289-315.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This study aimed to examine the significance of teaching motivations for the gain of professional knowledge during teacher education.

Research questions
This article focuses on two major questions.
First, the authors ask to what extent do future teachers in Germany endorse teaching motivations indicated by the FIT-Choice scale.

Second, the authors investigate the relationship between future teachers’ teaching motivations and their general pedagogical knowledge (GPK) using a subsample of 130 preservice teachers whose GPK was tested twice.

The participants were 1287 German preservice teachers.


Four main results revealed.
First, the findings reveal that the FIT-Choice instrument’s factor structure was replicated.
Second, the motivation profile typical for preservice teachers in Germany was also replicated.

Third, results also reveal that intrinsic motivation is positively correlated, whereas extrinsic motivation is negatively correlated, with GPK at the first occasion of measurement.
For example, choosing teaching as a fallback career was negatively correlated with general pedagogical knowledge at the first, but not at the second occasion of measurement.
However, once future teachers who hold a fallback career motivation have chosen to strive for teaching as a career, and become familiar with their teacher education program, they might overcome this motivation which could even turn into an intrinsic motivation.

Fourth, the findings show that extrinsic motivation also matters for preservice teachers.
The authors argue that at the very start of teacher education extrinsic motivations such as job security were subordinated to others, in the course of teacher education these may come to the front and become meaningful against the background of future plans such as raising a family.

Furthermore, the closer future teachers get to professional life, the more important ordinary working conditions such as salary, time for family and job security might become for them.

Updated: Jun. 02, 2014