Transitioning into TVET schools: An exploration of second career teachers’ entry profiles

May 2021

Source: Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 101

(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

The aim of this study is to identify and describe the heterogeneity in profiles of second career teachers (SCTs) making the transition into in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) schools on the basis of three different factors.
For this profiling, the authors use a person-centered approach.
They employ a mixed methods design combining quantitative and qualitative research methods.
In order to come to an in-depth understanding of the different profiles, the authors opted for a multiple case study design with semi-structured interviews.
The cases were selected as representative of the profiles identified in the latent profile analysis.
This study aims to identify and describe in-depth the heterogeneity of profiles of SCTs based on entry-related variables.
Moreover, it considers the connection of the profiles with teachers’ sense of efficacy.
To this end, the authors address three research questions.
- RQ1. What SCT profiles related to their entry into teaching emerge when taking into account specific combinations of entry-related variables addressing motivation to choose teaching, career adaptability, and prior job satisfaction?
- RQ2. How do teachers with these different profiles differ with regard to their sense of efficacy?
- RQ3. What does a closer look into these profiles reveal in terms of similarities and differences?

In this study, the authors use a mixed methods research design (Creswell & Tashakkori, 2007) which provides them with a way to interpret quantitatively-based SCT profiles (phase one) using semi-structured interviews (phase two).
They explore the first and second research question with quantitative analysis, and the third with qualitative analysis.

Two hundred sixty-two SCTs (both prospective and in-service teachers) from the French community in Belgium participated in the study.
40% percent of the participants were prospective teachers being in the transition process to become SCTs, 32% had been teaching as SCTs for up to five years, and 28% had been teaching as SCTs for more than five years.

Types of motivations were measured through the adapted FIT-Choice scale developed by Berger and D’Ascoli (2012b).
Career adaptability was measured with the career adaptability scale - short form by Maggiori, Rossier, and Savickas (2015).
Prior job satisfaction was measured through the overall job satisfaction scale (Eisenberger et al., 1997), which consists of four items (7-point Likert scale).
To measure teachers’ sense of efficacy, the authors used the short form of the scale developed by Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk Hoy (2001) (7-point Likert scale).

Multiple case study: qualitative study
The third research question was addressed through a multiple case study approach, because the authors consider their different profiles as revealing different realities (Yin, 2003).
More specifically, the aim was to describe and explain the differences and the similarities between the identified profiles or cases (Baxter & Jack, 2008).
Each profile represents a case.

Data collection and analyses
Interviews were conducted to deepen the authors’ understanding of the three profiles identified based on the quantitative study and to highlight similarities and differences between the profiles. Semi-structured interviews were conducted by the first author.
The interview questions focused on the reasons for their career transition and their feelings of confidence and ability to achieve this transition successfully.
All interviews were recorded, transcribed, and interpretatively coded.

Results and discussion
Latent class analysis revealed that there are three different profiles, based on the entry-related variables the authors took into account.
Considering the patterns in their scores for opportunity, intrinsic motivation, perceived ability to teach, social utility motivation, personal utility motivation, career adaptability, and prior job satisfaction, and the qualitative interviews, they labeled them: the finally found my calling profile, the newly convinced profile, and the maladaptive profile.
The authors found significant and meaningful differences between the profiles in terms of teachers’ sense of efficacy, and a relevant means classification regarding how the profiles are related to a successful transition.
The quantitative and qualitative results show the complexity of the transition experiences.
SCTs from the finally found my calling profile did not deliberately decide to become a teacher, but experienced a triggering event that pushed them into another profession.
Their intrinsic and social utility motivations show that they moved quite naturally towards teaching as a new profession.
In addition to these motivations, for two of the participants in this profile, existing relations with people already in the teaching profession helped them in making the transition.
This professional transition was not a very stressful event to them, because they were confident in their ability to adapt and in their ability to be teachers.
Those in the newly convinced profile decided to become teachers because they needed to leave a professional environment that no longer suited them.
Starting from these turnover intentions, they realized that teaching could suit them, and so, this choice did not originate in deeply rooted motivations.
Mostly, it was the growing need to feel useful that pushed them into this new profession, because they no longer saw any meaning in the profession they were doing.
Their transition is characterized by a general belief in their ability to adapt, but a concern about their capacity for the teaching profession in particular.
Those in the maladaptive profile, in the same way as those in the newly convinced profile, decided to become teachers because their previous profession no longer suited them. However, in this profile the main reason was related to personal utility.
Despite their choice to go into teaching, they do not seem to be very confident about this transition in terms of their adaptive potential and their ability to be a teacher.

Practical implications
This contribution has implications for the recruitment and retention of SCTs.
The results show that people with multiple motivations and a high career adaptability potential without personal utility motivation seem to be more likely to succeed in their professional transition, whereas a personal utility orientation combined with low career adaptability represents a vulnerable profile.
Considering the presence of multiple motivations together with a low level of personal utility motivation can be a good basis for reflection about recruitment campaigns to attract candidates with suitable profiles.
Depending on their entry-related profiles, SCTs show different perceptions of their ability to teach and different senses of teacher efficacy.
This finding reinforces the need to consider the heterogeneity of this particular population when we explore the specific needs of SCTs.
It is also advisable to assess the push and pull factors, and the personal resources of the candidates in the recruitment process.

Baxter, P., & Jack, S. (2008). Qualitative case study methodology: Study design and implementation for novice researchers. Qualitative Report, 13(4)
Berger, J.-L., & D’Ascoli, Y. (2012b). Motivations to become vocational education and training educators: A person-oriented approach. Vocations and Learning, 5(3)
Creswell, J. W., & Tashakkori, A. (2007). Editorial: Differing perspectives on mixed methods research. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1(5)
Eisenberger, R., Cummings, J., Armeli, S., & Lynch, P. (1997). Perceived organizational support, discretionary treatment, and job satisfaction. Journal of Applied Psychology, 82(5)
Maggiori, C., Rossier, J., & Savickas, M. L. (2015). Career adapt-abilities scale-short form (CAAS-SF): Construction and validation. Journal of Career Assessment, 25(2)
Tschannen-Moran, M., & Woolfolk Hoy, A. (2001). Teacher efficacy: Capturing an elusive construct. Teaching and Teacher Education, 17(7)
Yin, R. K. (2003). Case study research: Design and methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage 

Updated: Sep. 09, 2021


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