The study aimed to identify teachers’ motivations to study Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs offered by teachers’ training colleges. M.Ed. degree programs have become available in Israel since 2004, with a rapid increase since then in the number of colleges offering various programs and a consequent increase in the number of graduates.
M.Ed. degrees follow one of two teaching approaches:
(1) top-down/transmission of knowledge
(2) bottom-up transformative studies to support teachers’ professional autonomy.
The study’s methodology included examining data from multiple sources: documentation concerning the academic programs, government policy statements, and surveys administered to teachers who had graduated successfully from M.Ed. programs over the past decade and are now working in the field.
The authors found that after the first decade of M.Ed. courses in Israel, significantly more programs incline towards the bottom-up/transformative approach, aiming to promote individual, personal and professional development instead of adopting the transmission approach.
Teachers prefer M.Ed. programs at universities that include research. Yet their motivation to study is primarily intrinsic motivation, whether they aspire to study at universities or at teachers’ training colleges.
Results are pertinent for government planning of teachers’ professional development.
Further study into the needs of teachers is required to endorse these conclusions.