Who'd be a teacher? The voices of year 12 students

Year: 2002

Author: Lewis, Ed, Butcher, Jude

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In a recent collaborative study Butcher and Lewis (2000) examined the career choice decisions of Year 12 students intending to become teachers. Respondents exhibited a personal sense of efficacy and communicated socially orientated and altruistic reasons governing their decision to become teachers.

Teaching was seen as a far more attractive career choice for female students than for males. 15% of the females surveyed intended to become teachers, compared with 6% of males. The majority of female students indicated a preference for primary teaching, whereas a large majority of males intended to apply for secondary or tertiary teaching. Female students were more influenced by the notion of being able to help others, the security of employment offered by teaching and the attractive working hours and holidays. Male students were more influenced by status, salary and promotion and career opportunities. Much less attention was given by respondents in terms of issues of gender or child protection.

This paper reports on a study that uses oral enquiry to further examine the motives and reasons given by Year 11 and 12 students in considering or not considering a career in teaching. In particular the opinions of male students regarding teaching as a career are further elucidated.