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Abstract

This qualitative study explored teacher candidates’ motivations to become teachers. As part of the application process, students are required to complete an onsite essay about why they want to become a teacher. The authors examined application essays of 53 candidates to identify motivations for becoming a teacher. From the data, we identified tentative categories and themes that explained students’ motivations for pursuing a program in teacher education. Upon refinement, these categories seem to group into three, not always mutually exclusive, themes: Altruism (Developing the student and Making a difference), Personal Fulfillment (Making a difference, Sharing knowledge and experience, Dispositional motivators, Destiny to teach, and Serving as a role model), and Convenience of Teaching (Utilitarian).Understanding students’ motivation for teaching has implications for teacher education programs.

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http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/25325

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