Finnish Student Teachers’ Perceptions on the Role of Purpose in Teaching

From Section:
Preservice Teachers
Nov. 01, 2016

Source: Journal of Education for Teaching, VOL . 42, NO . 5, 532–540, 2016.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

In this article, the authors examined the various purposes that Finnish student teachers of different subjects have in teaching.

The participants were 372 Finnish student teachers of different subjects at the begging of their pedagogical studies.
Data were collected through questionnaires. The questionnaires measured different elements of purpose, such as purpose identification, goal-directedness, beyond-the-self orientation, and competence to teach purpose.


The findings revealed that four purpose profiles were identified among participants: Purposeful, Dabblers, Dreamers, and Disengaged.
The majority of participants can be profiled as dabblers. Dabblers are persons who think they have found a purpose in their teaching. However, they are still open to new ideas and ready to change their teaching goals and aims.
The second biggest group was the purposeful, those who had found a long-term goal and had a commitment to teaching.

The authors found that the student teachers of religious education most often demonstrated a purposeful profile, while student teachers of mathematics and science were mostly profiled as disengaged. The mathematics and science student teachers had no strong purpose-related visions, activities, or confidence in teaching purpose.
The smallest group among the participants was the dreamers, who were still searching for their teaching purpose.
The authors conclude that the moral nature of teaching calls for purposeful teachers for schools worldwide.

Updated: Dec. 12, 2019
Mathematics teachers | Perceptions | Student teachers | Teacher motivation | Teaching as a profession