Teacher motivation and professional commitment in the United States the role of motivations for teaching, teacher self-efficacy and sense of professional responsibility

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Book Chapter

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Global perspectives on teacher motivation


The present study examined the motivational antecedents of teachers' sense of professional commitment-commitment to teaching as a career and willingness to engage in professional tasks-in a sample of teachers in training enrolled in teacher education classes (N=703; 15% teachers seeking further qualifications, 9% student teachers, 53% pre-student teachers, 24% no teaching experience). Motivations for choosing teaching as a career, teacher self-efficacy, and sense of personal responsibility for educational outcomes each uniquely contributed to the prediction of professional commitment. In addition, self-efficacy and personal responsibility mediated the effects of motivations for teaching on professional commitment. Beyond the effects of motivations for teaching, selfefficacy predicted commitment to teaching as a career (planned persistence and satisfaction with career choice), personal responsibility predicted interest in professional development and both self-efficacy and responsibility predicted willingness to invest personal time in teaching-related tasks. The results reveal multiple pathways through which teachers' motivations can influence their commitment to the profession at an early stage of their career trajectories, and thus have implications for teacher education, recruitment and retention.

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