A survey investigation of influences and choices in attracting graduates into teaching

Year: 2002

Author: Richardson, Paul, Watt, Helen

Type of paper: Refereed paper

The present study investigated reasons behind graduates' decisions to pursue teaching as a career, in a Graduate Diploma course at a Melbourne university (N=74). A survey collected data about respondents' reasons for choosing teaching as a career, with open-ended questions eliciting rich qualitative data to elaborate on rating-scale responses. Five factors relating to social status, career fit, prior considerations, financial reward and time for family were identified through factor analyses. Responses were independent of previous level of qualification and having children or not, with little evidence of gender effects. Three distinct clusters of students showed that different combinations of reasons were relevant to each group's choice of teaching as a career, and these reasons were further illustrated and discussed in relation to qualitative data from open-ended survey questions.