Teaching as a career: Perspectives of Indonesian future teachers

Year: 2013

Author: Suryani, Anne, Watt, Helen, Richardson,

Type of paper: Refereed paper

The paper examines future teachers' motivations for choosing a teaching career and their perceptions about the profession in the Indonesian context. Data were obtained from 802 fourth-year undergraduate teacher education students at two public and two private universities in Jakarta and Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The mean age of participants was 21.61 years (SD=2.31), consisting of mainly women (83.16 %). Following translations and piloting, participants completed a paper-based questionnaire adapted from the Factor Influencing Teaching Choice (FIT-Choice; Watt & Richardson, 2007) with factors added to adjust to the Indonesian setting: religion influences, second job (time for casual work), tuition fee for teacher education (cheaper), admission into teacher education (less competitive), time for teacher education studies (shorter) and media dissuasion, and Professional Engagement and Career Development Aspiration scales (PECDA; Watt & Richardson, 2008); and the Religious Commitment Inventory-10 (RCI-10; Worthington Jr., et. al., 2003). The translated Indonesian adaptation of the instruments was valid and reliable. Social utility value was rated high; make social contribution, prior teaching and learning experiences, work with children/adolescents, intrinsic career value and religion influences were the main reasons for choosing a teaching career, followed by job security and "second job". Although fallback career was the lowest rated motivation, it was positively correlated with teacher education. The majority (81.92%) indicated their plan to become a teacher after study completion, 11.72% planned to teach temporarily, 4.86% preferred a non-teaching profession, and 1.50% did not respond. Teaching was perceived as a highly expert career, with high social status, and salary was rated above the midpoint. The findings significantly contribute to the international literature on choosing a teaching career, adding to the comparisons of previous FIT-Choice studies in Australia, the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Croatia, Switzerland, Turkey, and China.