Moving forward and giving back: making the change to teaching

David Saltmarsh, Anne McMaugh

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


    Recent trends in teacher recruitment have seen an emphasis placed upon the recruitment of professionals from other fields or new graduates from disciplines other than education (Teach for Australia, Teach First UK). There appears to be little Australian educational research about the perceived qualities these candidates might bring to the teaching profession, coupled with limited understanding of the characteristics of the current pre-service population. Much of the current research evidence about the characteristics of teachers is based on international evidence or US indices of occupational status, with fewer examples detailing the Australian context. This research suggests that for teacher education programs to be sustainable, the changing demographic of pre-service teachers and the motivations of students enrolling in teaching programs must be understood in order to effectively engage students and prepare them for teaching. Unlike previous research on career change teachers, this research is informed by the ANU4 rankings of occupations: an Australian socioeconomic index that links education, occupation and income. This study analyzed the responses of 87 pre-service teachers enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs at a Sydney university. Self-reported motivation for teaching as a career path revealed that while some pre-service teachers saw teaching as an opportunity to ‘give something back to the community’ others considered themselves to be moving into an occupation of a higher status: higher than the occupations of their previous employment although not always higher than the occupations of their parents. While this the sample size is relatively small it showed that the proportion of women entering increased with age. The occupational status (ANU4 rankings) of students and their parents was also cross-referenced with the age groups of the students revealing that, in both cases, the older the student the higher the status was likely to be and the more highly motivated than their peers to teach.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAustralian Teacher Education Conference Proceedings 2010
    Subtitle of host publicationTeacher Education for a Sustainable Future
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    PublisherAustralian Teacher Education Association (ATEA)
    Number of pages11
    ISBN (Print)9780975232453
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    EventAustralian Teacher Education Association Conference - Townsville, Qld.
    Duration: 4 Jul 20107 Jul 2010


    ConferenceAustralian Teacher Education Association Conference
    CityTownsville, Qld.


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