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‘It has always been my dream': exploring pre‐service teachers' motivations for choosing to teach

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This article reports on an investigation into the motivations of a cohort of pre-service teacher education students, undertaking a five-year, full-time combined undergraduate and initial teacher education degree program at the University of Sydney, Australia. Participants completed an extensive questionnaire which sought to gather data on the characteristics of the cohort; the factors that influenced their decision to undertake a teaching degree; their educational and work backgrounds; their perceptions of teaching, teachers and students; their expectations of teaching as a career; and their professional goals. The study found that a majority of participants made the decision to teach based on reasons that reflect personal aspirations to work with young people to make a difference in their lives; to maintain a meaningful engagement with the subject area they were drawn to; and to attain personal fulfilment and meaning. The study found that more than two-thirds of the sample intended teaching for at least 10 years after being appointed. The article explores the implications of the findings for early career teacher satisfaction, teacher retention and early career teacher attrition.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Sydney, Australia

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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