The aim of this study is to gain insight into the content and sources of the educational ideals of beginning student teachers.
The authors interviewed twenty-four beginning student teachers within the disciplines of history and the English language from three teacher education institutes in the Netherlands.
The student teachers were selected using the maximum variation sampling strategy and participated voluntarily.
The authors’ findings show that beginning student teachers have various educational ideals regarding the personal, interpersonal and societal development of their students.
Meaningful experiences related to forming educational ideals took place in the context of school, family, jobs and voluntary activities and societal issues.
They conclude by discussing the outcomes of this study for teacher education and future research.