The study examines beginning teachers’ and pre-service teachers’ motivation to teach in China.
Data are drawn from questionnaires completed by 107 beginning teachers (full-time teachers with fewer than six years’ working experience) and 122 pre-service teachers, and semi-structured interviews with 19 of them.
The respondents all emphasised social influences, personal utility value, and social utility value, and all viewed the teaching profession as a career high in demands but low in returns.
However, pre-service teachers showed higher motivation than beginning teachers, except for items regarding intrinsic value, fall-back careers, and teaching ability.
This study suggests a ‘culture-motivation’ framework for understanding teachers’ motivation in China.