The Motivations of Career Change Students in Teacher Education

Feb. 24, 2009

Source: Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, Volume 37, Issue 1 February 2009 , pages 95 – 108.

The paper presents results from a large-scale online survey about the motivations of career change students, and their beliefs about the attributes that they bring to the teaching profession. The findings revealed that career changers' motivations were largely intrinsic, even though pragmatic decisions were also important, with perceived family-friendliness of a teaching career a common response.

These findings generally support findings of previous research into motivations to teach, as found in the literature.

The data examined in this article also revealed that career change entrants believed that the most important attributes they bring to teaching are life experiences, generic workplace skills and experience, and personal qualities, rather than specific content knowledge. These findings provide support for the continued targeting of career change people into the profession, particularly in the current policy context in which some stakeholders express concerns about a perceived lack of quality of teaching in Australian schools.

Updated: Apr. 30, 2009