Why people choose to become teachers: The alignment of pre-service teacher and social entrepreneurial motivations.

Year: 2021

Author: Turner, Kristina

Type of paper: Individual Paper

In Australia, teaching as a career path and profession, is waning in both attractiveness and status. At the same time, the need for teachers is increasing. In this mixed methods study, we surveyed 398 pre-service teachers from across Australia to examine what drew them to the teaching profession. Our research revealed that pre-service teachers see teaching as a meaningful career, and were drawn to it as an altruistic, socially valuable pursuit. In this, we noted the pre-service teachers shared many characteristics of those who pursue social entrepreneurship. For example, the desire to drive social change and address social needs. Similarly to social entrepreneurs, pre-service teachers often have first-hand experience with the social issue they are addressing and find meaning and self-fulfilment in their dedication to resolve it. The path of social entrepreneurship is known to be of great interest to this generation and therefore, the researchers propose that reframing teaching as a social entrepreneurial pursuit may have beneficial impact on the perceived social status and recruitment of teachers. These findings are unique and therefore, further research is required to more fully understand the similarities and differences between pre-service teacher and social entrepreneurial characteristics and motivations. Findings from this, and other similar research, could have implications for the recruitment into initial teacher education courses, and the content of initial teacher education courses.