chapter  1
Why People Choose Teaching as a Career: An Expectancy-Value Approach to Understanding Teacher Motivation
ByPaul W. Richardson, Helen M. G. Watt
Pages 17

While there has been persistent interest in why people choose teaching as a career, until recently, there was little agreement among researchers about how best to investigate the issue. By the 1990s a body of research had identifi ed various motivations broadly categorized as intrinsic, extrinsic, and altruistic. In their seminal review, Brookhart and Freeman (1992) concluded that “altruistic, service-oriented goals and other intrinsic motivations are the source of the primary reasons entering teacher candidates report for why they chose teaching as a career” (p. 46). More recently the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD, 2005) reported on studies independently conducted in France, Australia, Belgium (French Community), Canada (Québec), the Netherlands, the Slovak Republic, and the United Kingdom, which indicated that the most frequently nominated motivations for choosing teaching as a career were the desire to work with youth, the potential for intellectual fulfi llment, and the wish to make a social contribution. Reassuringly, the aspiration to work with children and adolescents has been identifi ed as central in many studies conducted over time in the United States, United Kingdom, and Europe (e.g., Fox, 1961; Joseph & Green, 1986; Kyriacou & Coulthard, 2000; Lortie, 1975; Tudhope, 1944; Valentine, 1934). In different sociocultural contexts, such as Brunei (Yong, 1995), Zimbabwe (Chivore, 1988), Cameroon (Abangma, 1981), the Caribbean (Brown, 1992), and Jamaica (Bastick, 1999), “extrinsic motives” such as salary, job security, and career status have been found to be more prominent.