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"Teaching in the Eyes of Beholders"

Title: "Teaching in the Eyes of Beholders": Preservice Teachers' Reasons for Teaching and Their Beliefs About Teaching.
Name(s): Pop, Margareta Maria, author
Turner, Jeannine E., professor directing dissertation
Rutledge, Stacey, outside committee member
Roehrig, Alysia, committee member
Keller, John, committee member
Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
, Thesis advisor
, Committee member
, Degree grantor
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2008
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The purpose of the present study was to investigate Preservice Teachers' (PT) reasons for teaching and their beliefs about teaching. Specific reasons of PTs for entering the teaching career, and typologies (clusters) of PTs based on their reasons for teaching were investigated. Further, across the clusters of PTs, their beliefs about teaching were examined, in the context of PTs' understanding of their goals to become teachers. Mixed methods were used for data collection: survey and interviews. Participants were undergraduate students enrolled in the EDF 4210 Educational Psychology and EDF 4430 Classroom Assessment courses for the Spring semester 2007. The study was conducted in two phases. In the first phase, 215 participants completed a survey about PTs' demographic data, PTs' reasons for teaching and their beliefs about teaching. An initial quantitative analysis of participants' responses for the Reasons for Teaching Questionnaire (RTQ) was made using factor analysis and cluster analysis to establish groups/clusters of individuals displaying similar patterns regarding their reasons for teaching. For the second phase of the study, a selected number of participants (n=25) from the three clusters were recruited for an in-depth interview. The purpose of the interviews was to explore more deeply PTs' understanding of their goal to become a teacher, as well as similarities and differences across the clusters. Overall, the study results indicated a variety of reasons for teaching and beliefs about teaching expressed by PTs in their survey and interview responses. Survey results indicated six main categories of reasons (i.e., factors) as influential to PTs' career choices. These were reasons related to PTs' identity issues, reasons related to PTs' subject matter, reasons related to PTs' meaningful relationships, reasons related to the teaching job benefits, reasons related to PTs' holistic views of profession and reasons related to job opportunities through teaching. Three different clusters of PTs were obtained by conducting a cluster analysis, and specific reasons were found to be relevant for each cluster as related to their teaching career choices. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and post hoc tests, conducted to further explore the differences across clusters of PTs regarding their beliefs about schooling and beliefs about the teaching career, showed significant differences across the three clusters of PTs. The interview results provided more support to understanding the interplay among PTs' motivation and beliefs about teaching in the context of their understanding of the teaching goal development. A grounded theory model was developed to represent PTs' understanding of their teaching goal development as related to four major categories: Motivators, Beliefs, Context, and Strategies. Results from this study showed that PTs' understanding of their goal development was related to different types (or combination) of motivators for teaching, specific beliefs about the teaching career, all these applied to a specific context (i.e., past school experiences, emotions etc). How PTs perceived themselves as teachers, and how they perceived teaching represented a major influence in their career choices. Research from this area can bring a significant contribution to understanding PTs' beliefs in connection with their reasons for teaching as related to their attitudes toward teaching and their future professional practices. From this perspective, the issue of teacher education quality programs can be addressed, and stress the importance of studying PTs' views of teaching as related to their future instructional practices. Findings from such research may also bring a contribution to understanding motivational aspects for continuing teaching and job satisfaction, and indirectly may provide support to understanding various teacher attrition issues.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-0498 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2008.
Date of Defense: Date of Defense: November 5, 2007.
Keywords: Motivation, Teacher Education, Beliefs
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory committee: Jeannine E. Turner, Professor Directing Dissertation; Stacey Rutledge, Outside Committee Member; Alysia Roehrig, Committee Member; John Keller, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Educational psychology
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Pop, M. M. (2008). "Teaching in the Eyes of Beholders": Preservice Teachers' Reasons for Teaching and Their Beliefs About Teaching. Retrieved from