Elementary school teachers' motives to pursue a career in teaching

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2013
Arslan, Meltem
The present study aimed to investigate elementary school teachers’ motives to pursue a teaching career. Teachers’ motives to follow a teaching career were analyzed in terms of their gender, year of experience, graduate higher education institution, graduate high school, subject, and the presence or absence of other teachers in their families. The participants were 905 teachers from 38 public elementary schools in six central districts of Ankara. A forty-three-item, five point Likert scale questionnaire, developed by the researcher, was used for data collection. SPSS was utilized for the descriptive statistical analyses. Responses to open-ended question were qualitatively analyzed. The results of the study revealed that elementary school teachers agreed on mostly intrinsic and altruistic motives as their reasons to enter teaching. A liking for children, a desire to make a contribution to their development, and a wish for setting good models for them were among the motives teachers mostly agreed on. However, elementary school teachers mostly disagreed on extrinsic motives and miscellaneous reasons. Of the extrinsic motives the motives with the lowest mean scores were the one suggesting the financial advantages of teaching. Lastly, of the miscellaneous reasons teachers mostly disagreed they entered teaching because they did not know what else to do or they had no other choice. In other words, teachers disagreed they entered teaching because of an obligation or lack of opportunities. In conclusion, the results of this study can contribute to fill the gap in the literature on teachers’ motives to pursue a teaching career.