Understanding the career intentions of pre-service teachers
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Teacher attrition, which remains a concern in many countries, has been linked to the quality and context of teacher education, praxis shock, heavy workloads, isolation, occupational commitment, and the working conditions of teachers. Less understood are the motivations and intentions of pre-service teachers as they relate to teaching. This short paper reports from a project in which graduate-level, pre-service teachers considered their future work and career. Using text-based narratives, the paper highlights pre-service teachers’ thinking, with a particular focus on intended context, location and duration of career. The study employed Richardson and Watt’s FIT-choice model and found that analysis of presage and aspirational thinking together with the practical aspects of context, location and intended career duration, revealed sub-dimensions of the model not otherwise evident. Recommendations include evaluating the efficacy of storying techniques and guided reflections on teachers’ emerging teacher identities, and the use of written and visual narratives in longitudinal studies.
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