Initial and changing student teacher motivation and commitment to teaching

May. 15, 2008

Source: Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, Volume 36, Issue 2 May 2008 , pages 79 - 104

In an era of teacher shortages, what would motivate individuals to become teachers when the demands on teachers are greater than ever and there are plenty of alternative occupations from which to choose? This paper presents the findings of a study of student teachers' motivations to be primary teachers and their commitment to teaching after their first practicum. Results suggested that student teachers are multi-motivated to be teachers.

The most common reasons for choosing teaching reflected a positive self-evaluation of their attributes and capabilities to be teachers, to work with children and because of the intellectual stimulation teaching would provide. Motivation and commitment changed to some extent over the first semester of initial teacher education, particularly as a result of the first practicum. Implications for policy, practice and future research are drawn from the results to help attract, retain and educate the next generation of teachers and in some way help offset forecasted teacher shortages.

Updated: Aug. 27, 2008